Seattle Daiso Haul

Seattle has three Daiso locations, and since I STILL live in a city without a Daiso, I had to hit one up while I was visiting.  One day, I will live in a city where there is a Daiso and then making special blog posts about Daiso will be about as exciting as making a blog post about what I bought from Target.

Got some snacks. Got some bread since I wasn’t planning on getting a proper dinner that evening, and then some big packs of Pocky and Pretz since I know my darling likes them. Or at least he likes Pocky so I bet he would like Pretz too.

So many bags. A large tote to carry everything, and some pouches for…not entirely sure what but I am sure I will find a use for them.  Also, a penguin bag that is similar to my current cat bag that I carry my lunch in.  I was hoping to find another cat bag, but my options were penguin and dog.

Some closeups of the cute pouches.

Some stationary items.  Gel pens, deco tape, cat themed correction tape, and some white board markers.

I am generally somewhat suspicious of the beauty items like sheetmasks from Daiso, but I wanted to try some of these items.  Some konjac sponges (Missha wants like $10 for one!) and cocoon ball things that are good for…scrubbing your nose? Also some under eye pads, because I am self conscious of my eye bags.

More stationary! Some little notebooks with 3 different page patterns: line, blank and dot grid.  Also, some deco tape and some tape dispensers you can attach to your deco tape so you can more easily cut pieces of tape.  Finally, a pencil box that actually does not have very much room.

Last time I went to Daiso, I got some cat sticky tabs, and they are so cute. Alas, they do not have the cat pattern anymore- birds, sheep and flamingos. Not a flamingo fan, so I got a bunch that were birds and sheep.  There are also some page tabs, and some super thin pink sticky tabs.

Last time I went to Daiso, I got a bunch of embroidery thread. I was really hoping to find more little craft supplies like that, but there weren’t any embroidery kits or anything.  Instead, I got some needle felting kits. I have never needle felted before, so this will be new and exciting, I hope.

I really want to get some storage boxes and desk organization items, but I decided against it this time, since I don’t have a proper desk at the moment.  My next Daiso trip will most likely be after we have moved to the Bay Area, where there are multiple Daiso locations. Hopefully I will have a proper desk by then.


Queen Mary Tea Room – Seattle, WA

It was suggested to me to check out the Queen Mary Tea Room when I went to Seattle, so I was very excited to check it out.

This place is actually very small! I think I was expecting a house or something similar to Anne Marie’s Teas in Liberty, MO. But this is very cute.

Outside, one of the plants is a real tea plant. I appreciate this.

The front area has a ton of teacups and things for sale.

I had hoped that if I got there early enough for brunch, I wouldn’t need to make a reservation. I was told that they were pretty booked so there would only be time for me to have tea and a scone, which worked out just fine.

The tea set here is so pretty, and it looks like the pieces are all from someone’s collection.

At the table, there was a tea timer with options for differents kinds of teas, and some sugar with colorful sugar sprinkles in it also! And a tea spoon with a teapot on it! I love all the little details.

I also ordered a mini fruit plate to go along with my tea and scone.  It looks so cute, and it was nice to have some fresh fruit to eat.  They also brought out some jams for the scone- strawberry and apricot.

I think the timers are for green/white, black and herbal teas.  I ordered some Peach White Tea.  The tea menu is several pages long, and if I had more time, I would have skimmed through it more.  The dish here is specifically for placing the tea ball into once the steep time is up.

Finally, my scone with some whipped cream and butter.  I think it was an ordinary scone with cranberries or raisins, but it was very tasty.  The combination of whipped cream and strawberry jam was my favorite.

The tea was delicious.  Peach White tea is a good, safe choice whenever I have to pick a tea really quickly. It was so tasty, and the timer made sure it was brewed properly. I also love how tea-focused restaurants make sure the water temperature is just right, and not scalding.

I am very grateful that I was able to get a table without a reservation, and recommend that even if you just want to go in for brunch, to get a reservation.  I am a little sad that I couldn’t try any of the actual entrees, but maybe next time.  If I make another trip to Seattle, I absolutely want to come here again.  For my tea, scone and fruit, it came out to about $20 USD, which is kind of high, but it is worth it for the aesthetic of everything.

They have an option for Afternoon Tea, which is $42 per guest and I swore I saw that it requires a party of 6 or more, but now I cannot find that anymore.  Either way, it does require a reservation, so it would be good to call and inquire.  If I had planned better, I would have done that.  That is perfect for any meets that may happen in the area.  That is more expensive than any of the tea parties at Anne Marie’s, however, this is also taking into account everything is more affordable in the Midwest.

Overall, I absolutely recommend going to Queen Mary Tea Room and I really want to go again sometime.


Seattle Trip

I just got back from a trip to Seattle for a research conference related to my work.

The conference was at the University of Washington, and while I didn’t get to explore the campus too much, it was really pretty.

I saw a bunch of these weird fruits growing too.

Speaking of fruit, I got to try dragonfruit and some other mystery fruit at the conferance too. Not even Google is helping me.

Thursday and Friday morning were spent entirely at the conference, but I stayed until Saturday morning so I could explore a little bit and go shopping. One place I went to was Capitol Hill, primarily because there was a cat cafe I wanted to go to.

Some of the crosswalks there are painted like rainbows, which is pretty neat.

There is also a statue of Jimmy Hendrix outside of an art supply store, which I thought was neat. My Dad would have been thrilled.

I went to Kizuki Ramen and Izakaya for a late lunch before going to a cat cafe, and it was delicious! I got the tonkatsu ramen, and it really hit the spot.

The main goal was to go to Neko Cat Cafe, and hang out with some cats. However, it was nap time when I was there, so the cats were mostly napping.

This cat reminds me a lot of Billy, and let me gently pet them while they napped.

After the cat cafe and some more wandering, I went to Daiso and bought entirely too much stuff. Yes, the fun parts of this trip was cafes and shopping. Finding my hotel was easy enough, and Seattle rush hour traffic wasn’t too terrible, but finding a place to park so I could check in to my hotel was really stressful. There is apparently a loading zone, but I had no idea. Luckily, everything worked out in the end, and when I got to my hotel room, I was greated by this:

I didn’t get to keep the plush, but having one here definitely improved my outlook of the hotel by 1000%.

There is a giant husky plush in the lobby too, which I didn’t notice until I was checking out on Saturday.

Saturday, the plan was to go to the Queen Mary Tea Room, which is between the Bryant and Ravenna neighborhoods. I had a really great time and it is worth driving out there.

Finally, on my way out of town, I went to the Internation District to hit up Uwajimaya and Kinokuniya for more shopping. This dragon statue caught my attention.

The drive to Seattle from Portland was a pretty easy drive, and the traffic wasn’t too awful.  I probably won’t be able to make a second trip before moving out of Portland, but I would like to go to Seattle again to visit, and drag my darling along with me next time.

I will have more in depth posts for the cat cafe, Queen Mary’s, and my shopping hauls.

Favorite things from September 2018

It is the end of September, and I have been trying to think of things to blog about.  I just have not been excited about any lolita releases lately (not that I could splurge for anything right now anyway), so don’t really want to blog about that.  I haven’t really been wearing lolita too often either, but those times I have already blogged about.  So instead, this is just a review of all the nice things that happened this month.

In August, I changed how I did the monthly pages in my bullet journal, and I think September’s pages look really nice.

It is nothing super fancy, but I think it looked really good this month. Also, you can see that my personal life is pretty mundane. I have a separate planner for all of my work stuff.  When I first started bullet journaling last year, I didn’t like the idea of drawing out a month view like this, but after doing it for a few months, I like it better than what I was doing before. Plus it gives me an excuse to doodle flowers everywhere.

Something else that made me really happy this month was this surprise gift from my boyfriend.

There was some raffle at his job, and he won and decided to pick this little cat vase thing, because he knew that I would love it. AND I DO. It is now a tiny amount of cuteness in our tiny kitchen. I had been wanting to find something to put the most used cooking utensils into, but have been trying to avoid getting more stuff because of the second move.  But this is perfect and I love it.

I have actually had this nendoroid since last year when Breath of the Wild was actually released for Wii U and Switch, because I was hyped despite not owning any console I could play it on. But this month, while I was out of town, my boyfriend used his birthday money to get a Switch and the game, so we have been playing the game constantly.  I also have several amiibos I bought around the same time, and they have come in very handy in the game.  This game is probably part of why I have not been very productive this past month, but it is a lot of fun to compare how we play the game.


Trying to be social and failing but at least I got journals out of it

There was a swap meet today!  Thus far, swap meets have not been very exciting kinds of events for me for various reasons, as listed:

  1. Too attached to my things to sell anything
  2. Too worried about sizing to buy anything without having to google while at the event
  3. I generally do 10 years of research into an item before actually buying it
  4. Rarely have that much actual cash laying around
  5. Am old and how do I paypal

But I really wanted to interact with people while I am here, so I ended up going.  I went with two goals in mind: buy accessories and be social. I failed at both.  No shoes in my size, and there were mostly clothing pieces for sale and a few accessories, but nothing I really wanted.

Overall, the meet seemed successful. I was shocked at the number of people who showed up- had to be 20 or more.  I really liked the coms in my old city, but it was rare to have a meet up with more than 5 people (unless it was ILD).  I think the attendance number made me a bit nervous, since I didn’t really know anyone and going up to new people is hard.  I did chit chat a tiny amount, but for the most part, I just felt like a giant, awkward puff.

I always wear this when meeting new groups of people, even though it’s not the most flattering dress ever. I guess I just really love this Cat’s Broom dress. I have never paired the dress with pink blouse/socks before, so that is somewhat new. I didn’t really have any other white in my outfit at all, except maybe in parts of the headband. This was a very comfy outfit, except the shoes made my feet hurt after awhile, and I kept falling onto the side of my right foot for some reason.

As expected, random people were curious about my outfit today.  I got a few girls who said they really liked my outfit, which always makes me smile. There was one group of people who asked if I was dressed as a ‘babydoll’ (“eh, nah, I just like dresses”, which I now realize is a really vague non-explanation but okay) and if my favorite color is pink (actually no but easily to just say it is).  I took out my pink parasol today too, since I love any opportunity to use a parasol.  I just feel extra fancy when using a parasol, almost like Momoko from Kamikaze Girls (or rather the one iconic image of her, since I haven’t gotten around to actually watching that movie. Read the manga but people say it’s not as good…)  Whenever I go out with a parasol, people comment on that a ton too, which I like.  Parasols and sun umbrellas are so handy.

I ended up leaving the swap meet after around an hour, because I just felt weird and there was not really a convenient place to sit down and sew (the original plan I had to make friends was to sit and sew and chat with people about what they bought as they got tired of shopping and also went to sit down…joke’s on me!).  The meet was at the mall, so I took this opportunity to wander around the mall a little. There is a skating rink there, so I imagine there are probably skating meets that I will never go to.  Overall, it was a normal American mall with the shop you would expect there to be (H&M, Forever21, Bath and Body Works, Gamestop, Claires, Barnes and Nobles, the one shady shop that fixes phone screens).

I went to Barnes and Nobles because I had a gift card saved from when I graduated last year, and decided I should get around to using it before I lose it (which almost happened).  After having to sell a bunch of books before moving, I didn’t really want to buy more books, so instead I bought some journals.

Leuchtturm1917 journals are very popular with people who bullet journal, even though I am already over the moon with satisfaction for the Scribbles That Matter journals for bullet journaling (also STM come in pastel pink and lavender).  But I have been wanting to try these out, so it is very convenient that I could get them in store, with a gift card!

Overall, a successful day: I left the apartment while wearing lolita, attempted social interaction and got some journals out of it.

Midwest Tea Festival 2018 and travelling to my hometown

This was unexpected! My friend got married this past weekend, so I was planning on going back to my hometown for that, and my other friend really, really wanted to go back to the Midwest Tea Festival with a third out-of-town friend and I.  I wasn’t sure it would work out, since we would need to get ready for the wedding and all that, but we managed to do both in one day.

Of course, I had to dress in lolita fashion for the Tea Festival! One of the first times I wore lolita out by myself was to the Tea Festival in 2016, so it’s a tradition now.  However, I was somewhat limited in what I could bring, so it is a very, very toned down coord.  My Fanplusfriend Chiffon Lover JSK, an offbrand dotted half blouse, plain tights, normie flats, and you cannot see that I have little bow clips in my hair, but I do.  This was the first time I travelled with any part of my lolita wardrobe too, plus I needed to make sure I had clothes for the wedding and airport clothes and all that.

I noticed after posting this on Instagram that I pretty much wore the same coord to the PDX Tea Festival, except a different blouse and more appropriate shoes.  Is this my tea festival dress now? Hah.

I am really glad that things worked out this way, because the Midwest Tea Festival is just SO much fun. I also like that it is indoors, compared to the PDX festival being outside. One of the tea companies was selling this cute little cat figurine, so I had to take a picture.

A few of the stands were selling cute tea sets like this one. SO cute, but completely impractical.  While I was at the tea festival, I ran into my old comm also! If I was paying more attention to the facebook group, I would have remembered there was a meetup (I am in the habit now of saying I cannot attend any of the meets because I am 1000 miles away ;_;).  It was really nice to see them again, even if it was just briefly saying hi and then spending most of my time with the friends I had gone there with.

My original plan was to just stock up on snacks from a little Japanese bakery, Bimi Bakery, that I love and makes super amazing cookies. Like Herb Garden cookies and sesame seed cookies. I ended up getting some ginger cookies too, as well as a little trial set of some teas. Sadly, the cookies mostly got crushed when I brought them home, but they are still super delicious. I can technically order from their online shop, but the sesame and herb cookies aren’t listed. I am also excited to try some of the teas I bought from them too.

However, I ended up buying too much tea (again). I got some Butterfly herbal tea from The Tea Smith, and this was entirely because one of my friend’s friends was saying that it is BLUE. So we rushed over to try it, and it IS blue, and tastes good. I am easily sold on these things. Also, some Rest East and Mint tea from Hugo Tea, which I have had before and really like. It’s hidden in the picture, but I got some peach tea from Phoenix Teas, and the sample was tasty but my friend also raved about how delicious it is. I love peach flavored things! Finally, I got a bunch of tea from Herbal Alchemy, because I got some herbal tea (tisanes…) from them last year and I really, really like herbal teas lately.  I bought some local Missouri/Kansas honey also, even though I have 3 jars of local Oregon honey in my pantry.  I may have a problem when it comes to teas and honeys.

This weekend, I also went to Starbucks more than I have in over a year (it’s good at the Airport when you just want some snacks, and my other friend from out of town very strongly likes Starbucks). I used to try to get hot tea from Starbucks, but it is always TOO hot, so now I just stick to refreshers and ice tea, or just get bottled water (mostly in the case of airport time).

We also went out for thai food, which is kind of hilarious considering none of us can handle spicy food too well. I think I probably can handle spicy food the most, and even I got super mild pineapple fried rice. It has yellow curry in it, but I still liked it.

My friend and her family was extremely gracious and let us crash at their house for the weekend. I am very thankful, because it was less stressful for me, AND I got to hang out with her cat(s) too. This is one of them, who ended up sleeping in the room I stayed in. Such a good cat. He woke up me to be fed at 6:00am, just like the old days with Devil Kitty.

Finally, my outfit for the wedding, which you may recognize a great deal of. That is because I just wore a lolita coord sans petticoat! I really like this Puck’s Prank OP (that’s what F+F claims it is, even though it looks like a JSK, but what the hell do I know) for formal, normie events. However, the bodice is a bit big on me so I needed to cover it up with a cardigan. I am posting this here as an example of using lolita items in a “normie” fashion.  This is also why I picked these particular flats instead of bringing along shoes that would have been more fitting in a lolita coordinate.

The wedding was really beautiful, and I am very happy for my newlywed friend and her husband.  I had some concerns about travelling back to my hometown, however there were not any problems thanks to my friends.  I am a very fortunate person.

It was really, really weird flying “home” to Oregon from Missouri.  But there were many gorgeous views from the plane, such as (what I think is) Mt Hood.  I had a great weekend seeing my friends from college, and seeing one of them transition into a new, wonderful part of her life. I am also extremely happy to be home again though.

Blogging about social media on social media

I wrote a post about aesthetic themed instagram accounts and how I don’t think I would succeed at them, and then never published it because I was really just complaining more than anything.  However, that post did drive me to make a third instagram account so I can divide up my instagramming more.

So I have three instagrams now, which I linked in the sidebar, but I want to briefly comment on them.

My oldest one is aiulura, which is my internet nickname that I have been using since I abandoned the last one.  This began as my catch-all instagram, with cats and food and other nonsense, but I have decided it will be my primary aesthetic account.  I am going through and archiving some posts that I think are ugly now (some of my posts in 2012 are just bad), but I don’t want to archive everything.  I have a lot of nice stuff on there, interspersed with posts related to lolita fashion since 2016, and I am too lazy to move and repost to a fresh account just because some people like accounts that are 100% aesthetic.  So instead, I will just post aesthetic things in this account moving forward.

This leads to the next thing, which is what do I actually consider aesthetic? Notice I did not say it would be exclusively a lolita fashion account, because I do not wear it nearly enough to post only coord shots and selfies.  Now that I have been working a few months, I do not forsee that I will really wear it more often than I do now.  I know some people do wear lolita to work in wet lab environments, however I really do not want to do that.  So I am left with weekends and holidays, and I was wearing lolita nearly every weekend for awhile there, but lately I am just tired.  I think once I start going to meets with other people actually present (・ε・` ) I will be more energized to wear it more often again.  But realistically, I am in no position to be a daily lolita at this point, and maybe I never will be. I do want to post to my original instagram account more than once in a blue moon, so I will include other cutesy aesthetic stuff in it, such as posting cute desserts or tea or cute crafting projects, or things I would imagine are attractive to someone interested in sweet or classic lolita (I think gothic lolita is just the least my style, even though it is so beautiful too).

Thus, the new instagram account, aiu.hana, was made to be my catch-all of random cute shit that does not really have a theme. I have posted some very normie outfits there, as well as cat pictures (all Billy, all the time), pictures of skincare items I like and think are cute, and I plan on posting pictures of my numerous anime items once I unpack them after moving again ;_;. I labeled this account as my “normie” account, and am hoping to get my non-lolita in-real-life friends to follow this one instead/also.  In the past few months, there have been a few times where there was something I wanted to post on instagram, but I held back because it didn’t really fit with what I considered to be appropriate for a lolita’s instagram (whatever the hell that means….).  Now I have a place to post it without worrying that it doesn’t fit into a certain aesthetic.

Finally, there is my food instagram, fluffyanemone, which I started at the beginning of 2017 as a way to try and hold myself accountable with food. Yes, another failed diet plan, but I also really love to take pictures of food, especially when I have tried a new recipe and it turns out tasty.

Dividing up into multiple instagram accounts also means I can curate what I see in my feed by theme.  Follow other jfashion stuff on one account, food stuff on another, and skincare, stationary and cats on the last.  This is something I wish I could do on a single account- make it so I only see the cat accounts I follow or the lolita accounts or whatever, but I don’t think it really goes with instagram’s master plan of filling your feed with ads.

It is kind of refreshing to start a new account.