Adventures at the Portland Zoo

The last 2 posts were reviews of the Soufflesong dresses I ordered earlier this year, stressed over them being delivered because I moved before I got them, and then packed away to ignore because moving is stressful. But there was supposedly a meet at the Portland Zoo this weekend, so I got them out so I could wear something new to meet new people.

I wore the Soufflesong Don’t Eat Bunny JSK, which I reviewed and had many issues with.  However, it is extremely comfortable. I did find more flaws (there should be an eye and hook at the top of the zipper to help close it) but it fits well and is comfy.  I am wearing one of my F+F underskirts as well, and an aliexpress petticoat because it was lighter than the Black Ribbon petticoat.  For shoes, I wore my Sosic Shop Tea Parties because they are comfy. The blouse is one of the half blouses from Diamond Honey.  On my head, I had a headbow from a Taobao shop I forgot (whoops), a bunny/meowchi necklace from Tasty Peach Studios, and I had my pink parasol because going outside without one is suffering. I went on a walk with my honey yesterday in normal clothes and still brought a parasol along.  I have apparently outgrown all shyness about parasols.

Somehow the meet ended up not happening as planned, so it turned into me going to the zoo by myself. But at least I got to go to the zoo, which was one of the things I really wanted to do before having to move again. I am still going to have to go a second time because my boyfriend wants to see the zoo also.

My boyfriend was joking awhile ago about how he wants to meet a real wild bear. This will be as close as we will actually get to that.

I love this cougar. Just chilling in a giant cat bed.

These rabbits are thirsty. There is a farm animal section at every zoo it seems, but I don’t recall there being rabbits at the other ones I have gone to.

Sea gulls doing bird things.

Now that I study fish…actually I have always liked taking pictures of fish. This is a very nice and photogenic fish.

My emotions, captured perfectly by this large rodent-related creature that I was unable to identify because I was too tired to fight past strollers to get to the sign.

I had a pretty good time, and there were so many little kids who were impressed by my outfit.  I wish I had brought a lunch because I was starving by the time I left, and there weren’t really any quick options for food more substantial than pretzles or popcorn.  The weather was also a lot nicer than I expected, so that was pretty great.

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Soufflesong Don’t Eat Bunny Shoulder Straps Jumperskirt Review

Oh boy.

I got this JSK in XL in pink, so the bust fits 93-108cm, waist fits 80-92cm and is 93cm long. I am at the lower end of these sizes (94-80) so this JSK should be roomy on me. Perfect.

When I first unpacked this dress, finally after getting it in the mail MONTHS ago, it was wrinkled to hell. I got out my steamer and that took care of the wrinkles, which is a good sign.

The fabric is a very soft, but cheap feeling polyester. I swear I got the Pink colorway, but the image looks slightly purple.  Also, I could not find a proper “pink” picture of the dress on Soufflesong’s site- they all either look purple or ivory to me. But my receipt says pink, so this is pink.

You may also notice the the bows on my dress are in a different arrangement compared to the stock image. This is for a reason.


I received 4 bows, all detachable, and they are all so close in size that I have no idea which bow goes on the waist.


Even worse, 3 of the 4 bows PLUS the ribbon for the corset lacing in the back, were all unfinished and freying slightly.  Pro-tip to any new people out there: use a lighter to burn/melt the edges of ribbon so it does not frey after use.  Thinking back, I think I had to do this with my Soufflesong Kitty Courtyard JSK ribbon(s) also.  Damnit, how hard is it to finish your ribbon ends????


Back to the chest….I didn’t want to cover up this cute bunny anyway, so I pinned the ribbons on all at the collar instead. I didn’t use the 4th bow because I don’t really want to stick it on the waist when it looks so small too. So it is a backup bow.


I knew this was a bunny print, but I did not notice the sweets theme on the dress either. So this is a pleasant surprise. This print is a LOT cuter than I was expecting!


It has “Don’t eat bunny” written throughout the print and that is super cute.


The lace is super soft and pretty…and also freying??? I am unsure as to how to fix this other than just going in with scissors and trimming the fuzzies off the lace.

I am pleasantly surprised by how cute this print is, however, there are lots of issues with this dress as well. The unfinished ribbons, the fabric feeling super cheap, the attachment between the bodice and skirt seems extra lumpy.

What the heck is this messy stitching right here??  I would expect this out of myself, a very novice-level, non-professional seamstress who can barely sew in straight lines.  But this looks really bad right here.

To end this compliment sandwich, this dress is lined (yay) and comes with a spare button for the shoulder straps.  I worry a bit more about the length of this dress, but we will see how it works out.  On one hand, I already see this as being a dress where I don’t care if it gets dirty/messed up/etc because it is already not great.  But I am also disappointed in the issues with this dress.

I bought this dress several months ago when Soufflesong was having a sale, so I think I only paid $60 for this at the time.  I am very glad I got it on sale and didn’t pay full price.  I also originally wanted the other cut of this dress, but decided to go for this one because it was on sale.  Seeing the quality of this dress, I do not think I will go back and buy the other one unless this dress is just so amazingly comfortable to wear that it makes up for the other problems.

Once more, Soufflesong seems to be hit and miss, which is disappointing because it is such an accessible brand to direct newer people to.  However this (in addition to experiences some of my friends have had with Soufflesong this year) makes me seriously secondguess if I should recommend it anymore.

Soufflesong Sweet Cherry Deer High Waist Jumperskirt Review

I got the L in pink, so the bust fits 95-125cm, waist fits 81-112cm and is 96cm long.  My measurements are at the low end of this (94-80) so I expect this dress to be extra roomy on me, which is what I usually prefer for clothes.

This is what it looks like in person. The fabric is sort of thick and has an interesting texture to it, but I really like it. The waist ties are sewn into the dress and cannot be removed, and the back is fully shirred.


The waist bow here is removable, and has a plastic star attached. Why a star? That makes no sense in relation to the print. The bust has one variety of lace, which has cute little hearts on it. Finally, there are little pearl-centered bows on here, but they do not look good.  I am thinking of re-doing these bows and securing the pearls a bit more.


But then the shoulder straps have a different kind of lace, with stars on it. OH this matches the little plastic star, but also, why.  The lace is very nice and soft.


The hem has chiffon ruffles, but no lace. I really like the ruffles because it adds lenght to the dress (I always need longer dresses). This dress is also supposed to have a somewhat scalloped edge, but I don’t think it is visible until you are wearing a petticoat.  I also like the little heart trim.


This print is pretty cute, but it also reminds me of a different brand. At some point, Soufflesong/Neverland was working with/had a sub-brand called ‘Rose’s Valley’ and that was the creator of the Strawberry Rabbit print. This print seems to be very similiar, so I wonder if this is also a Rose’s Valley print. You can also see the texture of the fabric here as well.

The pros of this dress are that the fabric is nice and heavy, and I really like the print. I haven’t worn it yet so I don’t know how well the lenght works, but I am confident it will be fine.

I am confused by the two different lace types, and why there is a STAR charm attached to the waist bow. There were also a few quality issues, mostly loose threads. However, I noticed some ink marks by the bows attached to the bottom of the dress, but they disappeared instantly when I steamed the dress. I would have taken pictures but I didn’t notice until I was steaming the dress.

I bought this dress as part of a sale Soufflesong had earlier this year, and I think that this was a good purchase.  I think if the other Cherry Deer JSK goes on sale, I will get it in a different colorway, but DEAR GOD PLEASE WAIT UNTIL 2019 FOR THAT.

Krad Lanrete Lost at Sea, finally

The first few posts in this blog were sort of just whatever, but I eventually made a series of posts about my “dress problems” back in April 2016, and how there were many dresses I wanted but didn’t buy, and how Krad Lanrete’s Lost at Sea would forever haunt me while that dress did not.  I have made many references to Krad Lanrete’s Lost at Sea print because I love it very much.  I mentioned long ago that I was originally introduced to Lolita Fashion in the mid-00s through Gaia Online, but it wasn’t until a few years ago on Tumblr that I really remembered that it was a thing.  And seeing this print is the thing that sparked that memory.  The fashion (as I have rediscovered it, sort of), is pretty different from what I originally discovered, but this is apparently what I am drawn to more.

I got to see the dress in person, for sale, at Paradiso a few years ago. Later, I saw someone wear it at Nakakon, and I even had the guts to tell her that she looked great and that I love that dress. Because I really love this print.  Every time I saw it come up secondhand, I admired but it was always too small or I couldn’t afford it or there was some excuse, blah blah blah.  I figured that I would never be able to ge this dress.

WELL GUESS WHAT Krad is re-releasing it for what has to be the fifth time (that’s right, the dress was released several times but it was all before I actually started buying lolita clothes) so I decided that fuck it, I am gonna buy them. So I ordered both JSKs in the long version. The measurements say that I should fit, the long version is long, and life is too short.  I need to think about how to coord these, but I have shoes that work for both.  Apparently the lace at the bottom will be different also, but I am fine with that.  I have liked the other Krad Lanrete dresses I owned, so I am sure that I will be happy.

I could have spent this money on Angelic Pretty, or finally bought some BTSSB or any of the Japanese brands that people in general hold in higher regard.  ヾ(・ω・o) After all, I certainly bitched enough about Sky Banquet and Sweet Lacy Basket so far this year, and whatever the rose print last fall was.  And I will probably continue to lust after brand and then turn around and buy cheaper Taobao brand dresses anyway.

Natsu Matsuri and Uwajimaya Beaverton

In typical July fashion, it was hot and awful out, but it was also the Summer Festival/ Natsu Matsuri at Uwajimaya, so damnit I was going to go and I was gonna dress up for it. Uwajimaya is on the opposite side of town from me, so it was a long trip out there by public transport, but we survived.


It was hot so I wore a dress that I knew would wash easily and if it got eaten by the washing machine, no big deal.  I repaired a headdress yesterday that has some pink chiffon on it, which inspired me to pair this F+F Puck’s Prank JSK with pink instead of white.  Ended up not even using the headdress today because it was too hot for cute hair. Also, the pink from my Little Dipper blouse did not match my socks OR my shoes OR my parasol. So I decided today I would mismatch as many pinks as possible. Fuck it.


Here is Billy cat, judging my parasol. It was immensely handy today, as it was hot and sunny, and I hate hot and sunny weather. The sparkles are a filter.  The cat does not sparkle in real life.

The Summer Festival was a lot smaller than I expected, and it was mostly food stands in front of the Uwajimaya.  There were a few games, like goldfish catching, but I didn’t want to bring home a goldfish.  So we looked at the stalls, and then I got takoyaki.

I have had both good and bad takoyaki. This was on the good side, but there was no where to sit because there were tons of people, so I had to stand and didn’t get to really enjoy eating it.  Also, my boyfriend commented that the toppings look like wood chips. He’s not wrong, but I believe it is actually dried bonito? Some variant of fish flake.


There were many koi there also, in large tubs, for judging. I guess there was a koi competition going on.  I thought they were pretty.


The first stall we actually stopped at was selling a ton of cute stationary, and so I ended up getting a little cat notepad.  There are 4 page styles, and I don’t need it at all except it is cute and I love cats.

I think we actually spent more time inside Uwajimaya than we did at the festival.  It was air conditioned.  Uwajimaya is a Japanese grocery store, and I am a fan.  If I lived closer,  I would probably go there regularly, but since I am an hour away by train, it is probably not going to be a common shop for me unless there is a special ingredient I just have to have, or I can find a time to drive there where traffic won’t be too terrible.

Inside Uwajimaya, there is a Kinokuniya book store, which was super amazing. There were manga in both English and Japanese, various cute and nerd items, so much stationary, and obviously, tons of books. It’s not a very big bookstore, but there was a ton I wanted to look at.  There is actually a second location supposed to open in downtown Portland sometime next year.

I really wanted this book of Macoto Takahashi art.  It is so cute and this is the kind of coffee table book I want for my cute house that will someday exist and have enough room for a coffee table with random decorative books.

I looked for Gothic and Lolita Bibles, expecting none since it went out of print, and behold, there are a ton of back issues! I don’t remember exactly which volumes I already own (it’s only a few of them, honestly), and since the community has adapted quite well to just getting news and updates online, this is kind of an outdated item.  But it made me really happy to see them here.

Uwajimaya sells some dish ware, which seems to be a trend in every Asian grocery store I have ever gone to. I don’t understand why, but I appreciate it. Here are some cute mugs they sell.

Being the strange grocery store nerd that I am, we had to look at every aisle to see what kinds of things were sold, and then eventually back tracked to the snack and drink aisles to buy snacks.  A few weeks back, we got chocolate (original?) and strawberry Pocky from the store, and my boyfriend seems to be a fan, so I grabbed some new flavors to share with him. He did not care to pick any out himself so I went for the weirdest ones that I may like myself (so no banana), and then Pejoy because it is really good too.

What is “The Milk” and how is it different from original? What the heck is “Blond Chocolate”? Why was Coconut not an option, because that is one of the best.  Why is peanut butter and chocolate pocky not a thing? (Probably because peanut butter is not really a thing in Japan and instead there is weird peanut fluff, but that is just what the internet tells me).

I also grabbed some Hello Kitty senbei crackers, Kasugai gummies, rice crackers and some drinks.  I bought the senbei crackers before, and there is something nice and boring about the taste that I really like.  I think Kasugai gummies were some of my first Japanese candy.

I also got this peach tea drink and a jasmine green tea drink. This one was super delicious, but it tells you the number of calories per 100ml…..in a 500ml bottle. Just tell me how many are in the entire bottle without making me do math!

Overall, I had a pretty good time, and my boyfriend seemed to tolerate it, so it was a pretty good day!  It seems like it will still be hot for awhile and I have had many busy weekends lately, so I will probably take a few weekends off, unless something more interesting comes up.  ♪~( ̄ε ̄)

 

Angelic Pretty Laforet and ORANGE HOLY LANTERN

First, I hate orange.

Second, I love the idea of orange Holy Lantern.

WELL BUCKLE UP  because it is time for Angelic Pretty’s yearly release of Holy Lantern. But this time, in ORANGE.

Holy hell I love it but I never want to wear it myself. I want there to be a rainbow of Holy Laterns. Wine, Orange, Pink, Teal, Navy, Lavender, Black, White, Gray.

These babies will be for reservation in the Tokyo AP store, so get your shopping services reserved asap. And then be super patient because you will have to wait until February 2019 for this. So you will be ready for NEXT Halloween.  No word yet if this will be available online or not, but AP would be stupid to not offer it online at some point.

UPDATE 8/1/2018 – AP USA is taking preorders for the Holy Lantern re-release, because they like money.

For this Halloween, there are TWO new prints.

Ghost Night Bride, which I love, and can’t buy because poor/fat/etc. That print style reminds me of the Krad Lanrete prints from last year- Dullahan and Vampire Masquerade, but also more modern feeling compared to those. Oh no it’s AP copying taobao brands ahhh but in this case, I like it. So sue me.

Horror Candy Shop, which I am less of a fan of, but I like the cuts. This will either be painfully popular, or everyone will hate it.   The little headband will be popular though, because bat wings.

Ghost Night Bride and Horror Candy Shop will be up for sale starting 7/27 at LaForet, but I do not see anything about online sales…yet. Again, AP would be dumb to design two whole prints to NOT release online, so they will probably eventually go for sale online, but reserving 7/27 will allow delivery in early to mid September. Just in time for this Halloween. See, AP is helping you plan for several Halloweens this time!

That’s not all for the LaForet sale!


On 7/26, there are Melty Berry Princess, Holiday Collection, Mademoiselle de Paris special sets, and also a Vintage Marine special set, Celestial rerelease and Fresh Picking Strawberries (??) Print re-release.


On 7/28, there are more special sets for Fantastic Horoscope and Cream Cookie Parade, as well as super discount special sets.  Once more, Rose Museum is there. Also, Romantic Rose Letter, Lovely Snow Fantasy, Sweet Bakery, Fresh Cherry, British Crown and Wonder-if-anyone-even-likes-this-Patisserie.

And then even MORE Celestial print dresses with a OP set and a JSK set.

There are additional details here !! It seems there will be discounts, and probably Happy Packs, and special Luxury Princess OTT dresses available too.  Email your shopping services now or hope that any leftovers are put online…if there are leftovers.

Tea Fest PDX 2018

Today was Portland’s tea festival! I am very glad that there is one here too, because I was going to miss going to the Midwest Tea Festival.

Today’s coord was planned very thoughfully. The blue chiffon lover JSK from Fanplusfriend that I never seem to wear because I always go for the lavender instead.  I was looking through my coord post collections on Instagram when I realized this, so I decided that I HAD to wear this for the Tea Festival.  I am also wearing my Sosic Shop Tea parties, which held up quite nicely to the 7000+ steps I walked at the festival alone.  My feet hurt at the end of the day, but these shoes are great.  Also, my half blouse is from Little Dipper and wearing the Black Ribbon petticoat. I am actually pretty fond of it. Put on wrist cuffs for the pictures, and then got rid of them.  My blouse was actually slightly ivory, so it didn’t match my socks perfectly, however I decided I did not care about this today.  I sort of matched it to my ivory/beige parasol, which I almost left behind but then decided to bring along. THAT was a smart move, as the festival was outside, and it was super sunny out.

Today was my first time going on public transport alone in lolita.  The streetcar back home doesn’t really count, and I was with other people then anyway.  I was worried, but no one bothered me, just the usual people telling me that I look nice or asking why I am dressed up.  I am pretty lucky that has been my experience though.

The Tea Festival was at the World Foresty Center, with some parts outside in a huge tent, and vendors and some classes inside one of the buildings.  This event was considerably smaller than the Midwest Tea Festival, but this is also only year 2 of Tea Fest PDX and someone mentioned that it has grown since last year, so I bet this one will continue to grow too.  This event was mostly classes and vendors, but several vendors had the option of not just taste testing tea, but being able to sit down and have tea.

One local tea company, Minto Island Tea Company, had this super cool display of tea leaves in varying stages of processing.

Harvest, Withering, Oxidation (which is the step that helps differentiate black and green teas), and Rolling.  It was so cool to see this! They even had tea plants for sale there too.

There was a food truck, and also a stand selling pork buns, so I got myself a pork bun.  It was pretty good.

I took a tea etiquette class, and it was really interesting! The classes cost extra in addition to the ticket, but that is fairly standard, and we got some tea during the class too.

Lots of booths had places to go sit and drink tea, and this was a set up near those. Not sure if people actually had tea here or not, but it looked super cozy.

There was a lot of time between when I got to the event and when my class actually started.  My technique for shopping at tea festivals (or anime conventions, or pretty much any kind of event) is to make one round just to see what is available, and then make a second round and THEN sbuy your goodies.  I had finished buying things but there were still two hours left, so I walked around the Oregon Vietnam Veterans Memorial for a bit.  It sounds very strange to call it “beautiful” considering the subject, but it is a nice, respectful place.

This is a sort of shower thought I had while walking, but the weeds you find in Oregon are different from Missouri.  These weeds here don’t grow in Missouri, but Missouri has a lot of little wild violets and dandelions, while here there are these skinny yellow flowers that remind me of dandelions (not pictured).  I guess I wouldn’t expect to see many weeds in a curated garden, but this popped into my head today. I do see the same kind of clover here as I did back in Missouri.

The Hoyt Arboretum is adjacent to the World Forestry Center also, but I did not walk too far in, really just as far as the memorial.  This is because of the shoes I was wearing….many of the paths are just gravel or dirt. However, I am really excited to go visit the Hoyt Arboretum properly one of these days.

These tea cups were actually for a Cream Tea Party that occured after the Etiquette Class, but I did not attend. I just saw them bring them to the area and wanted a picture.  They are so pretty.  Someday, I would like to have a set of tea cups like this, but right now, I don’t have the room for it, and I prefer larger mugs for tea on a daily basis.

Behold, my tea haul!  The samples are fairly sparse at this event, which is okay.  I love free stuff, but then it takes forever to actually use the freebies and then half of it is Chai-spiced because apparently everyone except me loves Chai-spice.

I got two Portland themed teas from Stash, and tried them both at the booth before buying.  Before trying them, I thought it was just some sort of promo deal, but actually they are delicious, and I already like Stash Tea.  I didn’t realize it was based out of Portland, which is pretty cool.  From Sugimoto America, I finally bought some Ceremonial Matcha and a whisk.  I’ve wanted to make proper matcha at home for awhile but all the starter kits cost so much.  I figure that I have a way to measure and a bowl I can use at home, so really only need the whisk.  If I turn into a huge Matcha afficianado, then I will go buy a proper Matcha bowl.

I got some Lavender Earl Grey from Labrang Tea Traders, and I probably could have bought several other tins, but I was trying to not buy too much today. I still have a ton left from the last tea festival, after all.  From Plum Deluxe, I got Summer Breakfast Black Tea (it smells like grapefruit!), Afternoon ‘High Tea’ White Tea (it smells fruity and delicious) and Lavender Daydream White Tea (it also smelled delicious). Plum Deluxe has a tea of the month club, which is very tempting, however, my tea stash is already insane.

I got a sample of sencha green tea from Tsuru no Maru, which is apparently going to launch next month.  There is right now just the one green tea from Japan, and they will also sell rice crackers/senbei.  I was actually more interested in the senbei over the tea, but the guy at the booth seemed really nice and I am excited to try this sample.

I got a sample of Smokers Tea and Lung Powder from Golden Lung Tea in a sort of odd manner- they were handing them out to people walking by.  They said it’s not just for smokers, so I wish it was called something else.  It contains eucalyptus, lungwort, oregano, plantain leaf, elecampane, lobelia, chaparral, peppermint, osha root, skullcap and cordyceps mushroom. Mushrooms in tea?? I guess there was the Russian Tea booth selling a tea made from a mushroom, but I was too chicken to try it.  Apparently this is also a powder, so you make it the way you would make Matcha. Hmm.

Finally, a sachet of Paris tea from Harney and Sons.  I am no stranger to that tea, as it is one that I have actually finished hah.

I like to collect business cards from the various booths, even if I didn’t buy anything.  Best of British is a British shop out west, which is great because I miss the one back in Kansas.  Mizuba also sells matcha, but several varieties of it so that will be interesting to try.  Jasmine Pearl had a variety box I was interested in but I hit my budget first, so maybe some other time.  There is also a tea festival in Seattle in September, which sounds cool but I am not planning on going.

San Fransisco has a tea festival that will be this November, so it will probably be November 2019 when I can go to another tea festival. That is so far away, however, I may actually drink through my current stash by that time so I can go wild.  Also, a lot of shops can be ordered online so it’s not like I would ever run out of tea.