Pearls are a girl's best friend

With my break from lolita and himegyaru this month I have been looking at different fashion styles. I have noticed that I have strong draw toward the more elegant and refined fashions, especially if there are pearls and opalescent colors. I have also been working on my picture taking and Photoshop skills. So I decided that I would combine the two things that occupied me this month and take a picture of my past and recent opalescent purchases.
IMG_1945

This is my vanity set. I cannot exactly remember when I bought this. I just love it. I wish it came with matching perfume bottles.

IMG_1950

My other opalescent items. I think the next pearlesque item I buy will be a short necklace or choker.

Vice: covetousness

The first vice that comes to mind when I think of lolita fashion, especially lifestylers, is covetousness. The need to have a closet (or two) full of jumperskirts, skirts, blouses, coats, shoes, accessories, etc. The greed to have the newest and most popular prints. And the need to have shoes, dresses, or hair accessories in every color. And almost everyone has a wishlist and/or a dream dress.

Very few lolita are free of this vice. I too suffer from it. I had to own BABY's sugar bouquet jumperskirt in black, an Innocent world caplet, and Meta's first school bag. I own one set of Angelic Pretty's ribbon mittens and one of BABY's bunny earmuffs and want to buy more in different colors. I own a multiple array of color stockings. I am seeking a new favorite shoe style to purchase in multiple colors. And I know if I were not so tall or large I would also own several more brand jumperskirts.

The lolita covetousness is amplified by the fact that brands only produce a limited supply of products. The want to own a item before it is sold out or it becomes the next most coveted print is immense. Then like a gateway drug covetousness leads to elitism and idol worship. The girls with the most brand or highly sought after articles become notorious, while the lolitas that painstakingly handmake their clothes or buy from lesser known shops get over looked. And the ladies that buy replica items are made to feel inferior. While I admire those lolita with the rare and expensive clothes, I feel the other ladies deserve credit too. Being a lolita should not be about how much you have spent on a single piece of clothing. It should be about the asethetics of a well coordinated ensemble, the grace of the style, and the happiness the fashion brings the wearer.

This vice is the cause of many nasty lolita secrets and stereotyping. With so much negativity from the outside world there is no reason that a lolita should fear being picked on from another lolita. As a community we should be banding together, but there are instances of broken friendships because of dream dresses and split communities from girls seeking the approval of one member with numerous brand items. I believe that the style and coordination should make a lolita, not the label tag.



image from: We Women Today

December challenge

"A woman who has no way of expressing herself and of realizing herself as a full human being has nothing else to turn to but the owning of material things."
--Enriqueta Longauex-Vasquez

It happens at least once in every alternative fashion lover's life. You feel as if instead of wearing your favorite dress, it is wearing you. The fashion you love has become overpowering. Instead of incorporating the style into your daily life, it is taking over your life and smothering you. You still love the style, but feel as if you need a break.

And now it is happening to me. I feel lost in the rules and in the new trends. I am like a manikin displaying clothing rather than expressing who I am through fashion. Combining my love for himegyaru and lolita has left me flustered and indecisive at times. I have even let other's opinions affect ensemble choices.


The 'must have' prints and bright colors do not stir any emotion from me. The overly exaggerated and striking trends have left me longing for something else. Lately it has been pastels and muted colors that make my heart skip a beat. Lady-like dresses and pale nail polishes have caught my attention more than knee high socks and elaborate headdresses. Give me pearls over macaron rings and Louis Vuitton purses over a bunny bag. I want solid colors instead of Melty Chocolate and suede heels over tea party shoes.

So this month I plan to focus on just being a lady. And I will let this odd feeling toward half of my wardrobe work itself out subconsciously.




first image from: Sitting Gracefully
other images form: Absolutely Ladylike

The Secret of Moonacre

In addition to reading The Three Musketeers and watching Grimm and Once Upon a time, I have been trying to find new and interesting fairytale movies and shows. Last weekend I happened upon a movie called The Secret of Moonacre.

The movies opens with little Maria Merryweather and her governess, Miss Heliotrope, attending the funeral of her late father. Mr Merryweather was so in debt that he leaves his daughter nothing but an old book, The Ancient Chronicles of Moonacre Valley. Being that her father's estate is going to be sold she moves in with her unfriendly and untidy uncle Sir Benjamin Merryweather. Maria's new home, Moonacre Manor, is very odd. Upon arrival Maria and her governess are almost accosted by bandits, most of the house is off limits, there is a forbidden forest, the piano plays by itself, there does not appear to be a kitchen, and Maria's bedroom cieling has live twinkling and shooting stars.


Maria's inherited book tells a fairy tale of a girl who was so loved by nature that she was granted moon pearls, that could great any wish, and the title of The Moon Princess. But upon her wedding day, her family the De Noirs and the groom's family the Merryweathers started a feud over her pearls. The all-too-true story tells of a curse at the 5,000th moon that will destroy the Moonacre Valley unless a pure heart finds the pearls and the two families can work together to return them to the sea. Maria's arrives in Moonacre Valley 4,999 moons since that day.

The Secret of Moonacre was a really cute movie. I loved the idea that the fairytale book was the actual history of the two families and not just a random phophecy. I loved the cast wardrobe. Maria and Miss Heliotrope's dresses were an interesting alternative to typical Victorian fashion. Miss Heliotrope's kimono obi and Maria's different fabric combinations and open backed bustle were so eye catching. And the De Noir bandits' outfits reminded me of The Clockwork Orange.



This movie was obviously meant for a younger audience. Besides some arguing and the bandits briefly kidnapping Maria there really was not any conflict. I was at least excepting a fight scene when the two family finally met to get Maria before the pearls were thrown back into the sea. Anything needed was easily obtained, enemies were easily persuaded to become allies, Maria was quickly able to escape the De Noir's prison, and the location of the lost key and moon pearls were easily found. While The Secret of Moonacre was a delightful movie and had a good story, it sadly had no thrill, suspence, or intrigue.

first image from: Jolly Good Show
other images: Lorliaswood

Inspiration board

I finally sat down a made a preliminary wedding inspiration board. I had to change my theme since Oppa and I are unable to get married in December due to his job having holiday time blockout from November until January. Luckily I had not purchases too many snowflake/winter themed items and what I had purchased I was able to return.

So now our theme is Rococo-esque royalty. I suppose you could say the theme is inspired by Marie Antoinette. Hopefully I will be able to keep my head, at least until after the honeymoon. So everything except my ring has changed, even the venue. While I thought Maryvale was beauitful I felt it was too dark inside for a Rococo themed wedding. So we have chosen the romantic, 19th century Ceresville Mansion. Almost everything has been found again and I can start to focus on other things.


inspiration boardSword: Cold Steel
Crown: Tiara Garden
Ballroom: Ceresville Mansion
Shield Cookies: 6 Persimmon Inc.
Champagne Tower: flickr
Ring: Zales
Mask: Chantal Mallett
Origami rose: Mine
The rest of the pictures are from the knot

Television fairytales

I thought the idea for C.S. Lewis' quote was fitting for this month, besides that I wanted to start a new book, was the fact that there are two new television shows which have recently aired that are in the fairy tale genre, Grimm and Once Upon a Time. While I do not usually watch television, I have made an exception for these two series.



Grimm airs Fridays at 9pm Eastern Time on NBC

This show follows a homicide detective, David, who has begun to notice odd things with some of the people around him right before his dying Aunt arrives for an unexpected visit. He learns that the old fairy tales are real and he is a descendant of a group of hunters called The Grimms. Upon the passing of his Aunt, he now has to "protect people from the bad ones" and continue his day job as a police officer. This has been relatively easy so far seeing as how his homicide cases lead him to some of the evil creatures featured in the fairy tales.

The first episode was reminiscent of Red Riding Hood, and the second episode would have been Goldilocks and the Three Bears.







Once Upon a Time airs Sundays at 8pm Eastern Time on ABC

This series switches between two time lines. In one, Prince Charming wakes Snow White up from her glass coffin. Thwarting the Evil Queen's plans to make Snow White pay for "taking away her happiness" and "destroying what she loved". On their wedding day the Evil Queen appears to give their world the curse of no more happy ending. The only one that can defeat her is the yet unborn daughter of Snow White, Emma. But before the curse can reach the castle, the little baby is transported away just in time.

The other time line follows the modern day bounty hunter Emma Swan who is visited by her son, Henry, whom she gave up for adoption as a baby. Henry believes that time has stopped in his town of Storybrooke and that all the citizens are fairytale characters suffering from amnesia. He now has to convince Emma that his adoptive mother and mayor of the town is the Evil Queen and that she is the only person that can save everyone.




I really enjoy both of these shows. Besides the fairytale choices the story genres are different too. Grimm reminds me of a Law & Order-esque police drama. And Once Upon a Time reminds me of The 10th Kingdom without the comedy. Are any of you ladies or gentlemen watching these two series with me?


1st image from: Grimm wiki
2nd image from: Maybe it's just me...

November challenge

"Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again."
--C.S. Lewis

Last month was horrendously busy. The only task I managed to complete was to locate my camera. I sadly only went on one meet-up. And spent the rest of the month working, apply for new jobs, trying not to get sick, and re-planning my wedding. So November will be another month to focus on relaxation. One of my favorite hobbies is reading, especially classical or fantasy books. So in between planning my happy ending, I will be reading others.

I have already read Grimm's fairytales, Alice in Wonderland, and Through the Looking Glass. I think the next book I would like to read is the tales of The Three Musketeers. I went yesterday to see the new musketeers movie and noticed I've never read the book. Sorry for the short post, I do not feel well. The flu shot was definitely not a good idea. Anyway, have a good November ladies and gentlemen.

image from:deviantart: thisaoife

October challenge

"Don't lower your expectations to meet your performance. Raise your level of performance to meet your expectations. Expect the best of yourself, and then do what is necessary to make it a reality."
--Ralph Marston

This quote made me remember an instance in my childhood. I had to construct a big project for one of my classes. So I had made a detailed sketch of what I wanted to construct out of paper mache, but only halfheartedly worked on it. When it was done my mother could see that I was not happy with the results. She told me that, "you cannot excel at anything unless you know what mediocrity is first". I nodded and decided to restart my project again, but this time worked diligently. And even after it was finished, I would try to find areas for improvement every day. By the due date I was extremely pleased with the end result. I ended up getting an A+ for my project and won first place in a contest between all the classes in my grade.

I decided to choose with quote because I feel that I have let my lolita and himegyaru coordinations become mediocre over the last few months. I would not wear accessories or refrain from putting too much though into styling my hair. I was not unhappy with the result, but I knew I could do so much better. I had lowered my performance while my expectations remained high. Not to mention that I need to buy new work and house clothing as well since everything is extremely large on me.

So this month I will focus on raising my performance. I will study my Gothic & Lolita Bibles, Popteen magazines, and Ageha magazines for new make-up tips and coordination ideas. I will attempt to find my camera so that I can take pictures. And will buy new articles of clothing to replace the ones that no longer fits. I will rise to the occasion and not only meet my expectations; I will attempt to exceed them. I hope you ladies are able to be the best and do the best that you can this October too!

image from: Doofenshmirtz Evil Incorporated

"That's cute but..."

A blogging buddy of mine, Black Witch, asked me to participate in a guest post series she is hosting this month called "Black Diamonds and Pearls". The series is about the perspective of being black in lolita and other alternative fashion scenes. My post, "That's cute but...", was published last Friday.

Eyes of the Beholder

"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder" is common phrase most girls have probably heard in their tweens or adolescents. It means that beauty is subjective. Different people find different things beautiful. But what about yourself? It is amazing the amount of people that see little beauty in themselves.

I believe it is fine to have something about yourself you want to work on. But wanting to look like someone else, in my opinion, is not a health habit. Wishing to have a body like someone else is a self-hating tactic. The more you wish to have the weight, bust line, waist, hips, etc. of someone else the more you hate your own body. This can lead to self-abuse both verbally and physically. Sometimes we are the worst bullies to ourselves than anyone else can be. If someone were to verbalize some of the thoughts that women have toward themselves there would be serious consequences. Verbal abuse is not tolerated at my work place. If someone were to call someone a loser fat*ss they would be fired. Stop the abuse.

Everyone has a unique body. I am not perfect, but neither is anyone else. I do not like my weigh so I have made a goal to lose the unwanted weight. However, I would never want to be as thin as an Asian model. While I do find them beautiful, I am happy being me. If I spend my time trying to be like someone else who will be me?

I've spent this month trying products that would help my physical body. This last week of September I will focus not only on helping my appearance but also the thoughts toward myself. Starting with what I love about myself.


I love that I am...
❤ healthy
❤ relatively smart
❤ tall
❤ relatively well proportioned
❤ blessed with nice hair
❤ friendly
❤ a fast learner
❤ someone that will stick by their friends
❤ good with languages
❤ determined to finish goals I set for myself.
❤ willing to try most things at least once
❤ crafty
❤ able to laugh at my faults
❤ cute
❤ a book worm
❤ slowly starting to enjoy exercising
❤ proud to be me

When was the last time you said you loved yourself?


image from: Loss For Words

An act in composure

This post was inspired by bad days and seeing grown women act like children when they do not get their way.

When some people hear the word princess they automatically think of stuck up girls that always have to get their way. At the slightest bit of resistance or inability to get what they want they throw a tantrum or cry. But when I think of a princess I think of someone that when something does not go as planned can act with grace and poise. While I still have a lot to learn to be considered poised, I think I am capable of acting with some composure.

Those that follow my twitter know that the end of this week was hard for me. I found out my bank account had been used to make a fraudulent purchase. Friday I had horrible commute situation that ended in me having to walk 2.3 miles to work. I missed a call from a college I am looking to apply to by 7 minutes. When I called them back, I was told that the next time I could schedule an appointment call was next Thursday.

During those times I vented some frustrations out on twitter. After my venting I continued on with my day. I did not let those issues ruin my day or shut down. Nor did I rage my way through the day. A princess would never take her frustration out on others. She might complain at the moment, she is of course only human, but then she would soldier on with her day. A princess would not brood over events that she cannot control. Dear ladies, I hope you too are trying to be well behaved even on your worst of days.

♫  ~   Que Sera Sera  ~   ♪



image from: Zen Garden.co.za

September challenge

"Pretty is something you're born with. But beautiful, that's an equal opportunity adjective."
--Unknown

Like the majority of women I had body image issues as a child and teenager. It started with being unsatisfied with my weight and appearance in my tweens. I was always the tallest person in my class, wore glasses, had asthma, and had curly and uncooperative hair. It also did not help that I hated being biracial at the time. All of the girls I thought were pretty looked nothing like me. And I was jealous of half of my cousins with their blond hair and blue eyes or their red hair and green eyes.

All that lead to me giving up on myself and not caring what I looked like. By the time I was 16 I weighed 309lbs. My entire wardrobe consisted of jeans, shorts, oversized T-shirts, running jackets, and a pair of sneakers. I thought fashion and make-up were only for pretty girls. And I was most certainly not one. But then something finally clicked for me and by my 17th year I started losing weight, and trying to be more fashionable. A friend introduced me to a flattening iron and I began to replace my old unflattering clothes. Over the next few years I learned that while I was not one of the prettiest girls in the world I was certainly not ugly.


Sadly I let my weight balloon back up while working at my last horrible job. I was so fixated on how miserable I was with my job that I did not focus on anything else. Happily I have lost most of the regained weight already. Since last year I have lost 45lbs!

So September is the month that I will focus on beauty, inside and out. For those of you who follow my twitter already know that I have been cutting back on soda. And a few of my next goals are to remember to take my vitamins daily and find a good facial cleanser. I hope everyone will have a healthy and beautiful September as well!


image from: StephenPick

These boots were made for walking...

I think this has been the best month I have had so far this year. Although I have still been busy at work, it is no where near as bad as last month. And my plans for relaxation have been going smoothly.


Between this week and last I have been focusing on one of my favorite relaxation past times, shopping. Ever since seeing this picture of Sakurina I have wanted a pair of white cowboy boots.
My local stores did not carry cowboy boots and I could not find a pair online for $200 or less. While out one day I happened to walk by a cute little pre-owned shop and right in the window were a pair of boots! And luckily they were in my size ❤.


I also found these really cute pumps at Burlington coat factory last week. I was sad that the only colors they had were black and cream. I would have loved a white pair of these as well.


I would be in shoe heaven if I could find boots similar to these Liz Lisa ankle boots.
Photobucket


A lot of good things have been happening this month. I have lost a little more weight, been asked to do a few guest blog posts, and I have been accepted into the Maryland gyaru circle! Thank you August. I really needed you.


Dear Hair Cuttery,

Hello my name is Kristen. I just visited your new shop in Hunt Valley today. While your service was wonderful and my hairstyle looked nice while the stylist was working on it. I am not pleased with the final product.

Your stylist refused to tease my hair or use hairspray as I had requested. So after leaving the store for 5 minutes my hair was completely flat! I have never been to a salon in which the stylist refused to listen to her client. For $60 I could have washed my own hair. If it wasn't for the appointment I have to attend downtown at 3pm, I would certainly be back in your store right now making you restyle my hair for free! Also your stylist originally said the price would be $40, but when she was ringing me up the price changed to $60. Granted my hair is long, but it is not elbow length!

Although I was given a customer card and the stylists card I will not be using them in the future. Do not ever look for future business from me. And I will make sure to tell my friends and readers not to visit your salons.

Your unstatisfed ex-customer,
Kristen


I have only ever been to one salon that I loved. Sadly my stylisted retired and the salon later closed. If there is anyone in Maryland that knows of an excellent stylist please tell me!

Relaxation

After working two weeks straight I planned my first weekend off to be all about relaxation and recuperation. My first agenda for relaxation was a lazy movie weekend. What better way to unwind than comfy pajamas, fuzzy slippers, a hot cup of tea, and my favorite and dramas movies?

I am also slowly working on a sewing a new skirt. I have finished a few more lessons on my Japanese Rosetta Stone. And then next weekend I will be joining my local lolita community for a topiary garden meet-up.

The selection:

Movies
Princess Bride
Sherlock Holmes
10th Kingdom
Pretty in Pink
A Knight's Tale
Casanova
Legend
King Arthur
Labyrinth
The Breakfast Club

Dramas
Yukan Club
Princess Lulu
Hana Yori Dango
LIAR GAME
Fated to Love You

I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend and a stress free August!

Also Rest in Peace Isshi. With not being online most of July, I just found out about this.

image from: EcoExpress

August challenge

"Life is too important to be taken seriously"
--Oscar Wilde

I am so happy that July and August 1st are finally over!

Last month I was so busy to the point of depriving myself of a life. Between my normal work schedule, training the new processors, all the time I had to filled in because of people calling out or being terminated, and being on call, most of my relaxation time was spent sleeping. I was starting to feel mildly depressed. And the situation with my two new coworkers was not helping my mood either. I was even unhappy the few times I was free to be out with friends. Sorry to all the people I temporarily stopped talking to. I did not want to hear about your movie nights, meet-ups, and preparations for Otakon, which I had to work through, while I was at work.

But not this month! For the month of August I am going to relax, have fun, and enjoy myself again. I have only agreed with work extra hours on three occasions. One of which was yesterday. So I will finally be going back to crafting, watching Asian dramas, and of course blogging ❤. Life is too short for me to be unhappy and to spend the majority of my waking hours working or commuting to/from work. Working is important, but being happy is even more important. Make sure you are enjoying yourself this month too!

image from: Tùy bút của Yoshiro

Just me, myself, and I

Today's post has nothing to do with lolita or himegyaru fashion. It is a rant about the attitude of two normals I had have to recently deal with. You have been fairly warned.

This month I have had the pleasure of being introduced and working with two new coworkers. While I can happily ignore most of my coworker's inappropriate or uninteresting conversations, these two new women are intent on including me in everything. Then when I do not give an answer they like, they always respond with "That's because you're mixed." And usually I go back to ignoring them. However, I must have heard that statement at least fourteen times between Thursday and Friday alone. Then when I finally told them if they did not like my views to just exclude me, they felt offended. Ha!

Just the statement "That's because you're mixed" is offensive. They could have said that I would not understand because I'm from another state, because I did not grow up in a big city, or because I am younger than them. No, it has to be a racial issue. These woman would explode if I were to ask them about the Arthurian Legend and when they could not answer me to say "That's because you're black" or "That's because you're dark skinned." I would be murdered for uttering anything close to that.

I feel if you do not like my opinions after the first couple of times, why would you bother to continue including me in your conversation? I never asked to be included and I never stated that I felt left out. Continue on with whatever it is you are doing and just let me complete my work for the day. They can be in a huff toward me from on, but I do not care.

My taste in music or nonexistent interest in celebrates has nothing to do with my racial background. If anything I think being from a biracial family would give someone a broad or unbiased opinion of most things. I think that my interests are very broad. I would rather read than watch reality television. And I would rather study languages than get drunk. I would rather save or spend my money on a wonderfully cute wardrobe than on weaves and fake nails. There are mixed people that have no interest in the things that I do and there are African American people that would prefer do the things that I do. So race has nothing to do with what does and does not interest someone.

I am so overjoyed that I do not have to work with them this week. Besides the racial divide they have wedged between us I need a break for the word 'swoop'. I dislike when people take one word and say it all the time. "Let me eat before I have to swoop." "That's swoop." "Gonna swoop with my boy tonight." And those are just the tip of the iceberg! I can understand stuff like this from someone in their teens and early 20s, but these two women are in the early 40s! Hopefully they will not continue to work in our laboratory for very long.

/rant

I feel better now. Sorry.


image from: Biraciality

July challenge

"A man who does not think for himself does not think at all."
--Oscar Wilde

They are on numerous blogs, communities, forums, and guides. Go to a meet-up and there is bound to be somone talking about them. Switching between subgenres can be tricky because each subgenres seems to have their own different set. Rules. What you should and should not wear. How you should and should not act. Whom you should and should not associate with. And what activities you can and cannot do. While I find these lists interesting and helpful at times, there are just too many. For a fashion that has no official standardized rule book there is a sea of opinionated naysayers that will gladly tell you what is and what is not lolita.

I believe that if one is new to the fashion it is best to listen and try to follow the basic rules. But do not lose yourself trying to be what others think is the prefect lolita. Let your personality shine. You do not have to look like a walking brand store or stop having fun to be considered a good lolita. Experiment if you want to. Mix styles, be yourself, and create your own niche.

Being in the fashion for a long time has a benefit. I have seen the numerous rule lists and how-to guides. I have read the advice columns and researched the trends for my favorite subgenres. But I follow my own rules. I do not care how others think I should present myself or dress. Granted that my attitude and interests are already suited for lolita and himegyaru fashions. I am just being myself. Not letting the opinion of people I will most likely never meet effect my life.

This month I am daring you and myself to think more for ourselves. Continue to read the guides and lists but truly decide if they are any help to you. Make your own set of rules. Be your own lolita, not someone else's.

image from: myrealestateira.com

Being lolita

First the stockings, then the blouse, bloomers, petticoat, and a dress. Style hair, put on make-up, pick accessories, slip on a pair of shoes and paint nails. One last final check to make sure everything is in place and preparations are complete. Open the door, open a parasol, and leave for the day. Yes it might take three hours to get ready, but it is worth it. Why? Because I am a lolita. I strive to use the prefect accessories with each outfit and only the cutest shoes will do. I live for the details and the extra steps. And I would not have it any other way. Getting ready for a full lolita coordination is not a tiresome chore but an exciting transformation.

The negative comments and inquisitions are trivial. The odd stares and double takes are normal. The love of my fashion intensifies by the smiles, positive comments, and the joyous look in a little girl's eyes. Nothing brightens my day like the praise from a elderly individual. While others my age scoff at being called cute I strive for it.

Shedding my disguise of being normal for the princess I am is priceless. The world has enough ordinary people. Why waste my life trying to be mediocre and average as well? I refuse to be common. I refuse to assimilate. Why? Because I am a lolita. I will live my life, make my own rules, and follow no predestined mold.

No popular fashion pleases me. Most bags or shoes in local store do not grab my attention. I do not bat a lash at the stylish trends. My passion draws from frills of yore. Dainty lace and bows galore is what my heart yearns for. Please give me petticoats and bloomers over T-shirts and jeans. Why? Because I am a lolita. And I am happy to be me.


I hope everyone had a wonderful Loli Day!



image from: Angelic Pretty ad from Gothic & Lolita Bible

June challenge

"Above all, be true to yourself, and if you cannot put your heart in it, take yourself out of it."
--Unknown

This month is the half year mark. How are you doing with your resolutions? I usually take June to reassess the resolutions that I made in January. Some resolutions will be marked as important, so that I can really focus on completing them, while some might be changed completely. I believe there is no shame in stopping an activity because it is something that was not for you. You attempted something new and it did not work out, so try something else new.

Goals for this year:
☑ Get a house/apartment
☑ Beginning planning for wedding
☑ Help others
☑ Establish credit
☐ Get driver's license
☐ Go to the Cherry Blossom festival
☑ Attend more events
☐ Take more pictures
☐ Increase posting frequency
☑ Travel (June 24th - 27th)
☐ Craft more
☐ Set up crafting area
☑ Fix flaking nail issue
☑ Be more lady like
☑ Lose weight
☐ Improve make-up ability
☐ Update wardrobe

I have completed or am currently working on most of the goals I set out to do this year. There are three goals that I definitely need to work harder on. Plus I have completed 44% of my 101 goals! So though this was not the smoothest last six months I would definitely say it has been the most productive.


image from: ERMA New Zealand

Gothic & Lolita Bible

Last Tuesday was the release of the the 40th Gothic & Lolita Bible. When I first started buying these mooks I never thought that they would ever reach 40!

Disclaimer: I am in no way fluent in Japanese. I took 3 year of Japanese classes and am continuing to study on my own. I still have a lot of learn so if something is incorrect I am sorry.



Featured:

Throbbing English fantasy edition

・ Part 1. Fairy's needlework
       Brand 1† Victorian Maiden
       Brand 2† Innocent World
       Brand 3† ALICE and the PIRATES
       Brand 4† BABY, THE STARS SHINE BRIGHT
       Brand 5† Angelic Pretty
       Brand 6† BLACK PEACE NOW
       Brand 7† PUTUMAYO
       Brand 8† CHOCOCHIP COOKIE
       Brand 9† ZIGZIG

・ Part 2. English fantasy bookshelf and movie box
       Section 1‡ Classical fantasy
       Section 2‡ Hyper fantasy

・ Special appendix:
       ☆ Angelic Pretty sheep stickers
       ☆ Innocent World cut & sew brand paper pattern

・ 32 summer new brand line collection

・ Lady's 1 week of hair arrangements
・ Midori, Hinadori, Aoki Misako, Azusa, Shiratama, Kiseki (models)

・ Victorian maiden
・ 32 point new summer line collection presents

・ Mitsukazu Mihara
・ Cover art reappearance! Return commemoration interview!

・ Nakamura Asumiko
・ Comic series reappearance!!

・ artist
       ❤ ALI PROJECT    Takarano Arika
       ❤ Takemoto Novala
       ❤ Mana
       ❤ HAKUEI

・ Slowly drinking tea while shopping in your room☆
・ Mail order note


image from: KERA Information

Unhappiness

It is typical that the month I set aside for change and to inspire happiness as been one of the most unhappiest months for me. With a chaotic work schedule, illness in my family, and the recent issue with my paypal being hacked I have had little time and desire for personal change.

This month has definitely been a lesson in changing what I can and accepting what I cannot. I am happy with what little self change I was able to accomplish. Plus I did managed to finish a few more items from my 101 in 1001 days list! And I hope to finish the other items in the future.

I did receive a few e-mails wondering if I was going to stop Princessly Living and leave lolita/himegyaru. No way. I enjoy my blog and fashion too much. A true vegan would not stop because of sadness. Olympic athletes do not quit because life decides to play dirty. And I most certainly will never stop being me because of a few bumps in the road.

image from: Misanthropy Today

May challenge

"No one is in control of your happiness but you; therefore, you have the power to change anything about yourself or your life that you want to change."
--Barbara de Angelis

So many people these days are unhappy. They loath their jobs, detest their body image, dislike their friends, and hate their material objects. People spend most of their energy on being negative but refuse to use any of their time to try to change what they are unhappy about.

The beginning of spring is supposed to be a happy and cheerful time. So this month I will focus on changing that which I am unhappy with and that I have the ability to change. This ties in with the personal development plan, PDP, I created. Some of the areas I am unhappy with are my weight, hair, and nails. Ever since I made that PDP I have been working toward achieving my short term goals. I have only managed to accomplish a few of the goals I set, but I am very happy. My nails are flaking less often and are longer, I have lost 15lbs, and cleared out numerous old pieces of clothing from my wardrobe. I also was very brave and had my hair cut two weeks ago. I have had many bad experiences with my hair so I rarely allow people to do anything to it. But my ends look healthier and my hair has grown most of the 3 inches back! ❤

I hope this spring will bring you happiness. And if it does not I hope you can change whatever it is that impedes on your happiness.


image from: Psychology Today

American Princess

Yesterday I am sitting at home, enjoying my day off. After building, unpacking, and arranging items in my house for over a month I did not what to look at another box yesterday. So I sat most of the day crocheting my lovely blue blanket and watching mindless reality television.

After about three hours of watching television I noticed multiple casting call commericals which made me remember that I at one time wanted to be on a reality contest show too. Nothing like Jersey Shore, Survivor, American's Next Top Model, or The Amazing Race. I wanted to apply to the show American Princess. This series ran on WE for sadly only two seasons in 2005 and then again in 2007. I only was able to watch season 2. In American Princess 12 woman were nominated to appear on the show. They were groomed and sent home one by one each week through different challenges and punishments just like any other reality. The difference was the challenges were things a princess should be able to do or know plus one or two physical challenges. And the punishments were things such as learning to write a formal letter or act a hostess of a party. Later in the show when the girls were out on the town they were chaperoned by beaus. And the prize at the end of the season was to be crowned princess of some small region at a lovely coronation ball.

I found out about the series during a rerun marathon in 2007. Sadly I have not seen it on television since and there does not seem to be a DVD set anywhere either. Since the show favored odd years, I really hoped in 2009 that there were be another season and I could apply, but there never was.


image from: tv intros

STILL moving

The saying "You never know how much stuff you have until you move" is completely true! I cannot believe we are still moving stuff into the apartment and still have not put everything away. There are boxes in every room and still more in Brad's old room. When we move again I am definitely hiring a moving company. Then I will have everything in my house in one day.

My unpacking process from today:


My local goodwill must love me. I cannot remember how many bags of clothes, unwanted books, and other stuff I have donated or far.

April challenge

"Reduce the complexity of life by eliminating the needless wants of life, and the labors of life reduce themselves."
--Edwin Way Teale


I like this quote although I think the needless wants in life are what make it fun. Lolita/himegyaru fashions are definitely a needless want. Music, books, dramas, and video games are needless wants as well, but without these things I would have little to enjoy. So rather than eliminating the needless wants in my life I will work on eliminating the general clutter. This month I will devote myself to getting better organized and spring cleaning.


image from:ObtainSimplicity

Literature


In moving to our new apartment I discovered that my fiance had a wonderful collection of literature which I did not own, but have always wanted to read. I have finished with The Complete Book of Sherlock Holmes and have begun to read Grimm's Fairy Tales. Peter Pan will be the next book to read after that. It is amusing that he is just as excited about my book collection as I am with his. He has confiscated my The Picture of Dorian Gray, Bram Stoker's Dracula Clockwork Orange, and Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass.

How about my lovely readers? Read or learn anything new this month?

Virtue: courage

Just like any other hobby lolita/himegyaru fashion seems to bring out the best or the worst in people. I have noticed some of the most charming people turn into either e-fame seeking elitists or humble mentors over the years. With myself honestly falling somewhere between those two. Thinking of subjects like this reminds me of an ex-associate of mine. She was so sweet when I first met her, but than turned vain and spiteful toward the end of our friendship. Now I avoid coming in contact with her as much as possible. You are who you associate with and I do not want to develop a reputation like the one she has.


One of the first virtues that comes to mind when I think of lolita/himegyaru enthusiasts is courage. Most people would not associate fashion with a quality such as courage. However, I think that every one of the ladies and gentlemen that dare to be different because they want to, and not because it is the cool thing to do, is extremely courageous. For every amount of praise I receive from strangers I receive just as many negative comments and snide remarks. There are many lolita that have reported being harassed and even threatened. Not to mention the courage it takes every one of us to deal with the negativity in our own fashion communities.

It takes courage to deviate from the norm and stand up for your interests. To know that you spent hours primping, fluffing, and getting ready only to have people stare at you, make rude comments, or ask why you waste your time/money on such an odd hobby. It takes courage to know that you are wearing something you love and your family, friends, or co-workers might not approve. It takes courage to go to meet-ups and post pictures of yourself. It takes courage to receive and accept constructive and some non-constructive criticism. And it takes courage to ignore any self doubt and express yourself.

All of those factors weighing against us and yet we still have the perseverance to continue to dress up and go enjoy ourselves confirms that lolita/himegyaru are definitely courageous. These fashions may be cute, feminine, and youthful, but they are definitely not for the bashful. The next time you are accused of being a wimp or coward do not believe that for a minute. You are lolita/himegyaru/(insert whatever alternative fashion you like)! Always hold you head up high and be proud that you are different.



image from:The POWerful Word

Skyland Manor

IMG_1732

Yesterday my fiance and I set out for a tour of the second venue where I am interested in having my wedding and reception, Skyland Manor. We set out at 10:00am and unfortunately did not arrive at Skyland until 2:00pm! I knew that Skyland was going to be pretty far away, but I did not think it was going to take 4 hours.

The area around Skyland was gorgeous. There was a huge lake that was iced over and the forests I am sure are breath taking when in bloom. I am sure I would have enjoyed the view more if I had not spent 98% of our road trip on the highway. And Skyland Manor was absolutely lovely. The tour was well worth the drive.

IMG_1743
IMG_1756
IMG_1746
IMG_1767
IMG_1753


I loved Skyland Manor. It really makes me wish I lived in New Jersey. Skyland definitely had what Maryvale was missing. But the 4 hour drives make me lean more towards Maryvale or searching for another venue in Maryland. I do not know if I can ask 90 people to endure that horribly long drive either by car or charter bus.


Pros:
~ Goregous!

Cons:
~ 4 hour drive
~ Difficult driving on small roads if it were to snow
~ Probably will have to rent charter buses
~ Long distance planning

Happy birthday!

March third was my 26th birthday! I am still not quite sure if that is something to be happy about or not... Anyway, for my birthday Brad took me somewhere I had never been before, The Zoo. It was too cold for some of the animals to be out, but I still was able to see a large selection of animals.

2011-03-03 14.56.16
2011-03-03 13.41.28
2011-03-03 14.12.23

There are a handful more of pictures on my flickr if you care to see more of the animals.

Once home from the zoo Brad started working on making delicious chicken stir fry and I made a cake with strawberry filling.
IMG_1716

I am not too happy with the appearance. I bought sweet gum paste to make the hinamatsuri emperor and empress, but it was too hard to even get it out of the package. I tried water, vegetable oil, and low heat. But nothing would soften the hard brick. I saw recipes to make sweet gum paste online so next year I think I will make my own. As a consolation Brad ran to the store and got us a special drink. Because what goes better with a strawberry-filled white hinamatsuri cake than strawberry daiquiri wine coolers
IMG_1718

Gothic & Lolita Bible

Last Thursday the 39th Gothic & Lolita Bible was released. This issue snuck up on me. The spring issues usually seem to be released between March and the beginning of April so I was not expecting news of a new issue so soon.

Disclaimer: I am in no way fluent in Japanese. I took 3 year of Japanese classes and am continuing to study on my own. I still have a lot of learn so if something is incorrect I am sorry.


Featured:

・ 19 Gothic style brands
・ ~WELCOME TO GOTHIC CIRCUS~ Spring's new collection catalogue
・ 14 Lolita style brands
・ Spring's new collection ~Ribbon Magic~

・ Special appendix:
     ☆ UsaKuma stickers
     ☆ Life size paper patterns

・ Gothic & Lolita smartly dressed lesson book
         Lesson 1: Preferred type & the art of coordination
         Lesson 2: Brand print sample catalogue
         Lesson 3: 15 most popular brand album catalogue
         Lesson 4: Spring new collection bags & accessory catalogue
         Lesson 5: Shoes & socks catalogue
         Lesson 6: Clothing maintenance techniques
         Lesson 7: Attractive hair style and clothing combinations
         Lesson 8: Advanced hair styling chapter
         Lesson 9: Make-up basics

・ Innocent World presents
・ 「Heidi Girl of Alps」 German mansion chapter
・ Heidi Girl of Alps, Become a classical lolita!

・ Angelic Pretty
・ Spring's all present new line collection catalogue

・ Mitsukazu Mihara's cover girl sketch transformation
・ Maiden's homemade small accessory dream

・ BABY,THE STARS SHINE BRIGHT ★ Star tiara
・ Millefleurs ★ Angel detached collar
・ PUTUMAYO ★ Alice ribbon headdress
・ MAM MAXICIMAM ★ Black angel detached collar
・ CHOCOCHIP COOKIE ★ Bear ribbon comb
・ Dangerous nude ★ Queen's crown headdress
・ kikirara SHOUTEN ★ Princess ribbon fastening cape
・ MA MAXICIMAM ★ Punk lolita gauze armband
・ Angelic Pretty ★ Pirate ribbon headdress, crown eyepatch

・ Special fantasy comic report
・ Travel through previous life experience ~Love Moon princess ~Takarano Arika~

・ Time Travel to the Strange World (x2)

・ ALI PROJECT      Takarano Arika
・ New series      Gothic fairy tale start!

・ Gothic & Lolita mail order note cost



image from: KERA Information

March challenge

Comcast has decided to grace me with service just in time for the monthly quote. I hope that I will never have to sign-up with this service again! The gentleman that installed my service was pleasant though and understood my unhappiness toward the company that he was working for.


"Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death."
--Albert Einstein

The weather in March is always unperdictable. Between slightly warm days, horribly windy days, and cold rainy days, March is one of the months that I spend the most time indoors, besides the coldest days in winter. But 31 days of same surrounds does tend to give me cabin fever. So I like to bide the time by learning new things, reading, or if I dare to venturing outdoors I like to see new places.

I will try to make March a month of exploration, experimentation, and learning. Some ideas to make this a month of intellectual growth are to read new literature, learn a new skill, take a class, visit a new place you have never been to, or go to a museum or play.


image from:manIA

Unhappy

Sorry for the lack of a picture. I am writing this via Blogger app on my phone. Would that make this a plog (phone blog) post?

I am so happy to be in my apartment! I got the apartment with a den like I orginially wanted. There is nice landscape around my community which I think will look lovely in spring. I am not too far from the lake which the community is named for and the swimming pool is within walking distance.

I however am NOT happy with Comcast! I put my order for service in on Feb. 4th. Three weeks later I still have no service. But a two hour phone call to this hateful company rewarded me with a confirmation that my service WILL be on by Tuesday at a cheaper price than what I originally signed up for for a whole year.

So I have no internet this weekend besides my phone. And sadly I have the new Gothic & Lolita Bible information only partially translated. Oh well. Everyone have a good weekend!

Personal development plan

I will not bore you with tales of how life and work are taking over my days and the only fleeting hours in which I am not physically busy my mind is fixated on planning the move to my new apartment or looking for wedding vendors.

Anyway, one of the problems most people have with self development is that they do not know where they want to go. How can you grow when you do not know what you want to grow into? If you do not have an end goal where do you start?

This month's quote made me think back to an assignment I had in a Freshman development course. We had to create a personal development plan. This would help the students plan some of the steps we would take in college and later in our future careers. This was a nice project for future thinking. So I thought what would be a better assignment than a PDP for planning on becoming a better lolita, himegyaru, and person.

Purpose:
To develop plans in which I can become a more articulate, elegant, well-dressed, and creative person.
Area to develop: Style
Desired development
1. Have wardrobe of all princessy clothes
2. Have a cute hairstyle
3. Have beautiful nails
How to achieve
1. Be more praticular with clothing selection
2. Learn to wear hair not in a ponytail
• Get a new haircut
3. Take vitamins
• Nurtitionist
• Do not tap nails on objects
• Schedule manicures
• Paint cute designs on nails
Resources needed
1, 2, & 3. Lolita/Himegyaru magazines
3. Vitamins
Timeline
Area #1
Start date: Feb. 23, 2011
✓ Short term goal: Clean out old clothes and donate them
Medium term goal: Have 20 new outifts and shoes
Long term goal: Have completely update wardrobe

Area #2
Start date: Feb. 23, 2011
Short term goal: Wear hair down for whole month
Medium term goal: Decide on new hairstyle
Long term goal: Have hair cut

Area #3
Start date: Feb. 23, 2011
✓ Short term goal: Learn reason for nails flaking
✓ Medium term goal: Keep nails beautiful and get manicure each month
✓ Long term goal: Prevent nails from flaking

Area to develop: Appearance
Desired development
1. Learn make-up tips and tricks
2. Wear more elegant outfits with accessories
3. Lose weight
How to achieve
1. Practice and read tutorials
• Go for a make-up lesson/make-over counciling
2. Be more praticular about clothing selection
• Buy clothes of similar styles I like
3. Exercise more
• Eat more healthy food
• Drink more water
Resources needed
1 & 2. Magazines, stores
3. Exercise plan
• Equipment: game, video, weights
Timeline
Area #1
Start date: Feb. 23, 2011
Short term goal: Go for make-up consultation
Medium term goal: Build make-up kit
Long term goal: Need no further help with make-up

Area #2
Start date: Feb. 23, 2011
✓ Short term goal: Clean out old clothes and donate them
Medium term goal: Have 20 new outfits and shoes
Long term goal: Have a completely updated wardrobe

Area #3
Start date: Feb. 23, 2011
✓ Short term goal: lose 15lbs
Medium term goal: lose 30lbs
Long term goal: lose 60+lbs

Area to develop: Attitude
Desired development
1. Be graceful
2. Be more lady-like
3. Learn etiquette
How to achieve
1. Become fluid with my movements
1, 2, & 3. Always remember my please and thank yous
• Read etiquette books
• Mind my manners
Resources needed
1, 2, & 3. Etiquette books/classes
• Observation of people that display those qualities
Timeline
Area #1
Start date: Feb. 23, 2011
✓ Short term goal: Be less clumsy
Medium term goal: Take a dance class
Long term goal: Carry myself gracefully

Area #2
Start date: Feb. 23, 2011
✓ Short term goal: Read etiquette books
Medium term goal: Act gracefully
Long term goal: Refrain from any vulgarity

Area #3
Start date: Feb. 23, 2011
✓ Short term goal: Read etiquette books
Medium term goal: Take an etiquette class
Long term goal: Apply education in everyday life

Area to develop: Creativity
Desired development
1. Complete a craft at least once a month
2. Develop a new hobby
3. Write creative and articluate articles
How to achieve
1. Look for interesting crafts tutorials
• Look at craft supplies for idea
2. Search online for hobby ideas
• Visit a hobby store
3. Research relevant lolita/himegyaru topics
• Read interesting blogs
• Spend ~4 hours a day writing
Resources needed
1. Craft magazines/ blogs
• Craft supplies
2. Hobby magazines/ blogs
• Hobby supplies
3. Lolita/himegyaru blogs/ forums
Timeline
Area #1
Start date: Feb. 23, 2011
Short term goal: Set up a well organized craft space
Medium term goal: Plan a craft a month
Long term goal: Avoid procrastination and finish all crafts

Area #2
Start date: Feb. 23, 2011
Short term goal: Investigate and pick a hobby
Medium term goal: Set up a well organized craft space
Long term goal: Become skilled in new hobby

Area #3
Start date: Feb. 23, 2011
Short term goal: Set 4+ hours a day to work on blog
✓ Medium term goal: Go through egl and other lolita forums for topic ideas
Long term goal: Write, write, write

That was definitely easier to construction on a powerpoint.

image from: Bet Breira