December challenge


"Its the end of the year. Plenty of time to finish something, end something, and start something new. Do all 3!"
--Unknown

I usually see December as a month of endings. It's the end of the year. So I try to accomplish any goals that I set for myself during the year. And I prepare to start anew when the clock strikes 12:01am on January first. "Out with the old and in with the new", as is commonly said. But since this year has not gone like I had hoped, I think I will try something new.

I will still continue with my normal traditions, but this year I think I am going to work on attempting to try something new as well. This coincides with my future goal making I hope to work on next year.

So for December my goal are:

Finish/end something:
Finish reading Peter Pan, stop deleting half-finished post ideas.
Continue with:
Participate in more blog challenges, eliminate unwanted blog links.
Start something new:
Clean out unused and unwanted items, Stop always censoring my opinions.

I hope my fellow ladies and gentlemen will try something new this month as well. December does not always have to be about endings. And I hope everyone has a Happy Holiday.


image from:Logomoose

Lolita Blog Carnival: Lolita playlist

Week 6: What's your lolita playlist?

This is my first week participating in these weekly challenge. My favorite songs are usually cheerful with a danceable beat. I also the rock and alternative genres.

I thought it wise not going to clunter my post with youtube videos images. If you want to list to the songs you can click on the provided links.

Some of my normal music:
Ace of Base - Beautiful Life
Owl City - Fireflies
Selena Gomez & The Scene - Love You Like a Love Song
OneRepublic - All the Right Moves
Jordan Sparks - One Step At a Time
The Corrs - Breathless
RuPaul - Main event

Some foregin music:
Secret - Starlight Moonlight
Kara - Secret Love
Seven Days - LUV
CRAYON POP - Saturday Night
SNSD - Chocolate Love
Jay Chou - Princess Syndrom

For my super sweet days:
Patrick & Eugene - Don't Stop
Norah Jones - Chasing Pirates
The Cranberries - Dreams
Sixpence None The Richer - Kiss Me

For my darker days:
Nightwish - Phantom of the Opera
Within Temptation - Angels
Rasputina - Transylvanian Concubine



Other Lolita Blog Carnival participants this week:

Commercially alternative ❤ Dollhouse diaries ❤ Geisha Baby ❤
Hello Batty ❤ Kira kira shoujo ❤ La petite princess ❤ Le boudoir ❤
Parfait doll ❤ Päivänvarjon alla ❤ Pop Princess ❤ Princess Palace ❤
Puppenschloss ❤ Ramble rori ❤ Stranger and stranger ❤ Sweet lolita doll ❤
Sweet and simple ❤ Swirly purple and green crayons


image from: favim.com

November challenge

"If we are facing in the right direction, all we have to do is keep on walking."
--Zen Proverb

Last month I felt as if I had finally turned myself back in the direction I am meant to follow. I realized that I cannot control what happens to me, but I can control how I react to those incidences. I began to declutter the things that no longer interested me and set priorities for myself. So this month I thought that I would continue to work on following that path.

In October I created a small monthly to-do list. I really enjoyed making and doodling this. I am very pleased that I actually managed to achieve a few of my goals. It was nice to have some concrete goals I needed to work toward. I think I might make one of these again for November, but with 30 tasks to complete.

So for November I plan to continue to work on exercise, make-up, and beauty. I hope to experiment with some camera apps on my new phone. I will also attempt some of the challenges from the Lolita Blog Carnival. I have so many ideas that I am excited to start working on and post here. And I aim to fully rekindled my love for crafts and fashion once again. I need to be more active and have fun while I am still young.

I am not where I want to be yet, but I feel as if I am once again on the correct course to get there. I hope that all of my lovely readers are following the paths that they want to. If not it is not too late to change direction.

image from: Raphael Hertzog.com

No longer a child

I love lifestyle idea lists. I enjoy seeing other lolita's ideas for outfit coordinations, for days when you feel too bummed to dress up, and seasonal ideas. I look forward to the craft ideas, baking tips, and other fun activity suggestions. I have filled a journal with lifestyle suggestions that I one day hope to accomplish from these types of lists.

 But there is one thing that always seems to arise from these lists that I dislike. Juvenile activities. Tea parties with stuffed animals and playground photoshoots are just not for me. There a numerous reasons for my aversion toward such ideas. Which are not limited to the facts that I like hime/classical styles, my age, or that I like lolita fashion for the elegance and refinery. Even when I was first introduced to lolita fashion in 2003 I disapproved of the childish trends that were commonly thought of as adorable.

I dislike stuffed animals with lolita. To me they diminishes the grandeur of the fashion. I do not want to look like I am trying to relive my toddler years. Nor do I think that deer/bunny/dog purses look cute. I do not want a bag that is normally advertised for tweens and elementary school girls. I want to be graceful and feminine.  I also believe that unless you are a child you look ridiculous at a playground taking pictures. Playground are for exercise, to keep children entertained, and to have them socialize with others outside of the classroom. To me a jungle gym, slide, tire swing, and lolita do not belong in the same setting. I cringe at the thought of a picture I had taken in 2006 of me standing on a jungle gym. I do not remember how I got talked into going on that thing, but I regret it to this day.

One of my favorite suggestions lists is Princess Skye's 101 Lolita Lifestyle Ideas. There are of course certain ideas that appear on this list that I have no care for, but for the most part I like a majority of the recommendation. I have always wanted to make a list of my own. However, I am not resourceful enough to think of 101 different ideas. So here is my compiled list of 50 Lifestyle Ideas that I one day hope to accomplish or already have. I take no credit for thinking up the majority of these idea, as stated before I have a journal filled with ideas from numerous past lists.

- Go to an upper-class restaurant for tea
- Go antiquing
- Participate in a photoshoot
- Take finishing classes
- Go horseback riding
- Take a dance class
- Fly a kite
- Ride in an old fashion train
- Try flower arranging
- Gather your friends for the day and read books out loud
- Read stories to sick children
- Have a baking day
- Try creative stitchery: embroider, crocheting, knitting, quilting
- Go tea tasting
- Make gift baskets for friends
- Make specialized candles
- Learn to play an instrument
- Learn a language
- Make homemade parfaits
- Try quilling
- Go to traditional ball
- Make homemade Christmas cards
- See an opera or play
- Visit an art museum
- Practice calligraphy
- Try ice skating
- Go on a cruise
- Pack a lunch and explore your neighborhood/park
- Develop a signature - an article of clothing, hairstyle, a make-up technique
- Ride in a horse drawn carriage
- Go Christmas caroling
- Paint
- Make your own fragrance 
- Deco electronics 
- Try making jewelry
- Start a garden/ window planter box
- Write poetry
- Learn an old card game
- Make your own visiting cards
- Participate in a charity
- Sew an unique wardrobe piece
- Make a stain glass piece
- Get pampered at a spa
- Visit a topiary garden/arboretum
- Update furniture with rococo-eqse pieces
- Write a letter to your dearest friend or family member
- Scrapbooking/journaling
- Flower/ leaf pressing
- Build a bird house
- Travel in Victorian fashion

And finally write a blog!



image from: Beautiful Wishes

October Challenge

"Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever."
--Lance Armstrong

I spent the whole of September thinking about what I should do with myself, but my respite is over. Recently there have been a lot of grievous and stressful events happening which have made me rethink of all of choices. I have taken care of everything that I am capable of, but I would stress out about the things that were beyond my control. I wasn't eating correctly, sleeping well, or doing much of anything. I had shut down. I was losing interest in music, playing any video games, fashion, blogs, and any of the other things I am normally interested in. Smile, because people will worry if you are not. Seem interested, because people will annoy you if you do not. But I was exhausting myself by focusing on what I had no ability to control.

Last month was the unhappiest I think I have ever been. The fact that I had almost no control of the situations around me made me feel horrible. And the fact that I was shutting down because of them made me feel even worse. I was giving up on the things I love the most. I was quitting on who I was because of worry and misery. I would not say that I was depressed, but I was as close to it as I ever want to be.

Then last week I finally sat there and thought about everything. I have been doing the best I could during every situation. I tried to fix and compensate for as much I could. And while none of this fit into my life plans, I am managing to get through it all. I only have one chance to live every day. There is no rewind button and no do-overs. I have to enjoy as much as I can now because once it is gone there is not getting that time back. And I am not going to let this negativity ruin my life while I am still young.

I love this blog and my readers. I enjoy typing out my thoughts, crafting, wearing elaborate outfits, and sharing great finds. So for a much doubt and uncertainty as I had in September about what I am going to do, I will continue as I was before. Blogging is one of my many favorite activities and stress relievers. I will not set a post frequency because I do not need anything else strenuous in my life. Just know that I will do everything in my power to stay positive and blogging. I make it my mission to enjoy every day once again. I refuse to be a quitter!



image from: We❤It: Piccsy

August Challenge

"Do not lose hold of your dreams or aspirations. For if you do, you may still exist but you have ceased to live."
--Henry David Thoreau

Unforeseeable circumstances destroyed my motivation and interests last month. There were even times I thought of permanently disconnecting from the internet. I would wake up, go to work, come home, and then go to sleep. There was just too much happening for me to process at one time. And on the occasions when I was not being a recluse, I was the pillar of strength for Oppa.

It felt like I lost a part of myself. Just when I would regain that missing piece something else would happen and it would disappear again. Everything is slowly beginning to stabilize. My mother is doing well, Oppa had an interview Wednesday, and only time will heal the wound of a losing a dear friend. I truly hope August will be a better month for everyone.

I felt this quote compliments exactly how I feel. I was existing, but there was no life. I went through the motions of the day like a robot. Smile during the appropriate situations, but mostly just observing. I did not like how that felt. I lost my direction and drive in life. I did not feel princessly last month nor did I care if I did.

This month I will accept the things in life I cannot change and plan to reconnect with the dreams, goals, interests, and lifestyle I love once again. Thank you to everyone whom gave their well wishes. I truly appreciated them.


image from: Stange Times

Daily garden

Unexpected events have thrown a curve into my life. Things have not returned back to normal, but they have stabilized for the time being. During that time I completely neglected my blog and lost my drive to work on my challenge. Even though half the month is over I decided to work on one aspect of my July challenge by working on making more daily posts.

One activity I enjoy is spending time in gardens and national parks. I wish I lived near a place like those. I would spend as much time as possible there. Sadly the closest garden is at least 30 minutes away. But luckily I work at a wonderful hospital that has lovely surroundings. Fishing ponds, fountains, and colorful foliage.


I look forward to going to work and sitting by the fountain at lunch, maybe seeing a deer stroll by, and feeding the fish.

Thank you for taking a little peek into my daily garden

July Challenge

"The only limitations in life are the limitations you put on yourself..."
--Joel McCrod
I am famous for putting limitations on myself. Be it clothing choices, activities, items that I truly want, or blogging material. I am usually worried about making the safest or untroblesome choices. This leads to most of my days being rather dull and uneventful. Not only am I hindering myself from any possible fun, I am distancing myself to new experiences. I could be missing out on meeting new friends, fun events, or other possible opportunities. I do not allow others to hold me back, why should I do that to myself?

So this month I am going to start the task of breaking the bad habit of restricting myself. I will attempt to go places and try new things. Whatever I plan to do this month will be fun or a learning opportunity. While the excruciating Maryland summer might impede on some outdoor activities, I will still make the most of every moment. I will try to use my tumblr and twitter more often. And I hope to begin the process of becoming a more active blogger with additional daily life posts.

I do not want to look back on my life as mundane and stagnant.  I only get to live once and I will try to make every day a little more exciting.

 image from: Living Life Learning

5/30/12: Pre-Anniversary

I meant to post this sooner, but my camera refused to cooperate with me. Anyway 5/30/12 marked one year until the wedding date. ❤ Oppa and I thought it would be cute to treat this as an pre-anniversary day. We decided that we would not do anything too special though.

The morning started out with a breakfast of love. I got up earlier than Oppa and made heart shaped banana pancakes. The first pancake was an utter failure, but the rest were prefect.

I had to share a picture of the syrup bottle. I like this brand for the sole fact that the dispenser top is smiling.

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After work, Oppa had roses and made dinner.

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Since we already bought our wedding bands I thought I would share my set. I've seen a few pictures taken like this and wanted to try it for myself. Happy Pre-Anniversary to us.
I cannot wait to wear my rings together. Only 361 more days to go!

June challenge



"Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds you plant."
--Robert Louis Stevenson
I usually measure my accomplishments by the major tasks that I am able to complete. Finishing a major project, handing in a long paper, cleaning the entire house, etc. But working on my wedding checklists I have begun to feel successful over the little tasks I am able to complete. While setting up interviews with vendors and typing out music playlists are minuscule successes, they are necessary for the major task at hand.

I felt that I should take this sense of accomplishment and apply it to other areas in my life. I will acknowledge my accomplishment when I put together a new fantastic coordination, when I attempt a new recipe, after I maintain a smaller weight for a week, etc. I may not be able to achieve the main goal at the current moment, but I am working toward it. And why not be happy with the small steps that I have taken today that will help with the big picture tomorrow?

This month I will not overlook the small successes. I will celebrate every accomplishment and happily work toward my larger goals. I hope that everyone will be able to accomplish all that they have set out to do this month as well.



 image from:denniscummins.com

The accessories

How has your month been thus far? Have you accomplished all that you have set out to do? I am fairly pleased with how I have progressing with my May challenge. I have cleared out the external influences from several folders on my computer and my music files, I rid my magazine collection of books that I truly had no interest in, and lastly I have purged my jewelry of the odd, childish, and less glamorous accessories. And this morning I finished the last of the spring cleaning in my hair accessory box. I do not remember if all of the unused items I have throw away were impulse buys or that I genuinely thought I would wear them. 

I don't usually go into the box unless I need something other than my standard headbow or a new ponytail holder. I would not say it's cluttered, but some of the sections had no organization.
I decided to clean out the unused kiddie clips and finally, take out the odd phone strap, and put my headbands all in one place.
All in all I am only getting rid of the clips and the jiggle ponytail holders. I do not know what had possessed me to buy these clips. I was never interested in the deco or OTT styles. I think I will keep the clips for future use if I ever have a little girl.

The lifestyle

Throughout the years one portion of the lolita community has been looked down upon and ridiculed, the lifestylists. They have been told that it is impossible and moronic to think that a lolita lifestyle was possible. And that lolita is nothing more than a fashion. Then on the other side of the debate are the people that believe in this subculture and have extravagant ideas of how a lifestyle lolita is supposed to live.

I have always questioned as to why it is this way. First, no one should judge someone else’s lifestyle. Everyone is a unique individual and entitled to pursue their own idea of happiness, as long as it follows the law and does not endanger others. Secondly, other alternative fashions are said to have their own lifestyles why not lolita fashion? I have heard that there are gothic, punk, and gyaru lifestyles, why should lolita be any different? I believe one of the reasons for this debate is that few people know the definition of a lifestyle.

A lifestyle is generally defined as “the habits, attitudes, tastes, moral standards, economic level, etc., that together constitute the mode of living of an individual or group” (Dictionary.com). And the business dictionary states that a lifestyle "is expressed in both work and leisure behavior patterns and (on an individual basis) in activities, attitudes, interests, opinions, values, and allocation of income. It also reflects people's self image or self concept"( BusinessDictionary.com ).

I like that in both of those definitions it is stated that a lifestyle is based on an individual's way of life. So thus if someone feels that their girlie, princessly, lolita way of conduct, habits, and interests fit the definition of a lifestyle lolita who is anyone to say that that is a preposterous idea?

Everyone's ideals of being a lifestyle lolita are going to be slightly different. My lifestyle choices are going to be different than others especially since I do not strictly follow one of the popular lolita genres. I would say my fashion is a collage of ulzzang, slight sweetly/slightly classical lolita, hime lolita, and himegyaru. I have not reached my ideal lifestyle yet, but I get closer everyday.

Set of behaviors:
Be caring to everyone. Always have a pleasant attitude. Never forgot your manners. Be thoughtful of your words and actions. Be lady-like in everything you do.

Values:
honesty, creativity, beauty, happiness, confidence, grace, charity, education, refinement, modesty, sophistication, elegance

Self image:
A modern day rococo princess. A little lolita, a little hime, a little preppie, but completely me. ❤

Social relations:
local friends, meet-ups, galcir, forums, blogosphere, pen pals, conventions

Entertainment:
meet-ups, movies, books, dramas, fashion show, picnics, GLB, trips, calligraphy, para para, crafting, blogging

Work:
Most anything not hard labor intensive. Laboratory assistant, mental health worker, office worker

Dress:
skirts, blouses, cute shoes, heels, cute purses, jumperskirts, capes, boleros, pearls, shorts, dresses, hair accessories, bows, deco nails, heels, parasols, adorable coats, fabulous sunglasses

Activities/interests:
tea parties, shopping, fashion shows, picnics, conventions, panels, photography, movie reviewing, carriage rides, walks, trips, festivals, caroling, blogging, archery, horse riding,

Habits:
acting proper, following etiquette, buying fashion magazines, checking brand stores, searching Y!Japan, maintaining beauty, crafting
 
Tastes:
pastel colors, antique items, cute items, sweets, princess-like items, tiaras, pearls, diamonds,

Publications:
GLB, GosuRori, KERA, Ageha, Seventeen, Popteen, Hime☆Style, Ray, Pinky



 




top image from: Tumblr 
bottom image: polyvore

May Challenege



"Only do what your heart tells you."
--Princess Diana
 
The world today is a jumble of messages and demands. We are bombarded by a plethora of ads, emotion stirring images, personal advice, and peer pressure each day. The radio, entertainment industry, television, magazines, and computer ads are all trying to sell you on the image of the cool, prefect, fashionable, desired lifestyle. But have you stepped back to think of what you really want? Are you subconsciously following trends and opinions of what is cool? Do you want that print because you really like it or because of all the hype others are making about it?

This month I am dedicating to self-reflection and truly listening to my heart. For the past 3 months I have completely ignored the main egl community, lolita forums, and my local lolita Facebook and I have been extremely pleased about my fashion choices. I noticed that my lolita file on my computer was overcrowded with pictures of different popular fashion trends that I actually had no desire in trying. All the excitement of eye popping bright prints, split wigs, and small animal bags had apparently hypnotized me. I decided that I would delete the files that did not interest me. Once I cleaned out the folder only 40% of the pictures remained. I was amazed at how much I had been effected by the opinions of others. And I was determined to continue this purge of unwanted influences not only in my fashion choices but throughout the rest of my interests.

This challenge has nothing to do with being a special snowflake or belittling others that like popular trends. This month is about finding out what makes me happy and cutting away the excess influences. Another reason I chose this quote for this month was in belated celebration of the first annual National Princess Week. I wish I had known about this last week. But I will be prepared for this next year though. I wish everyone a Happy May and good luck in all that you do.  





image from:Confessions of a Seeker

Hime rose graden nails

I had finished both of my nail sets earlier last week, but I wanted to wait to take pictures of them being wore for the cherry blossom festival. Unfortunately yesterday was an eventful day, I forgot my camera, and I took the nails off before bed. At least I can post the pictures I took of the full set.

What do you think? I think they are so feminine and hime.

Disclaimer: The design is not originally mine. I saw a nail set like this online ages ago from a Japanese website.

Nails

My acrylic monomer finally arrived in the mail today. Here is a preview of my first set of nails.


I think they are coming well for my first time doing this.

April Challenge

"Each day can be one of triumph if you keep up your interests."
--George Matthew Adams

While I was working on my strengths last month I plan to act on them this month. I aim to make April a month of accomplishment. With my resolve and creativity I plan to tackle the to-do list I have been working on. I refuse to be lazy and lose interest this month. Be it finishing a book, learning a new dance, walking a longer distance, or taking pictures for blog entries; I shall triumph over the tasks I have set before myself.

I admit that I forgot about my computer for a large part of last month. I had lost interest in checking blogs and brand shops. I had also lost interest in trying to coordinate any outfit other than my work clothes. This month I will attempt to rekindle those interests as well as accomplish the tasks I have set for myself. I hope that all of you lovely readers can accomplish whatever you set out to do and rejuvenate whatever interests may have started to fade.

image from:Inspiration Line

Happy Birthday to me ♪

Last Saturday was my birthday and of course one of my favorite holidays, Hinamatsuri. This year a friend made me a "hinamatsuri" birthday cake. I received some lovely gifts and had the first Rita's Ice of the year. One of the best things I received this year were two hinamatsuri pop-up cards!
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I also bought some presents for myself. For the longest time I have been in a crafting mood. Unfortunately most of the crafts that I do are rather lengthy. While crocheting and quilling have lovely finals results, I have been looking for a less extensive project.

While looking at hime-kei pictures I was admiring their nails. I would love to have my nails decorated like the models, but unfortunately I cannot have 3D art on my nails while I am at work. Then I started thinking that I could always wear press-on nails. I could wear whatever design I want on my nails and then taken them off during work hours. So I decided that trying to make 3D nails would be my new hobby. So far the nails, rhinestones, pearls, and cherry blossom mold have arrived. The stand, heart molds, acrylic powder, monomer, dapper cup, and other decorations still have yet to be delivered.
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I am so excited to start a new project! Wish me luck.