Cat’s Broom The Secret Garden JSK and High Waist JSK

These dresses arrived while I was out of town. Thus concludes all the lolita dresses I have ordered from Clobba Online this year.

Cat's Broom The Secret Garden High Waist JSK

This is the High Waist JSK in white. It’s so pretty. I love the fabric. It is light and has a slight sparkle to it. It’s longer than the other dresses I have.

Cat's Broom The Secret Garden High Waist JSK

I love the little gems on the bows. I love the little ribbon tie. I though this dress would have a side pocket like the Normal JSK, but it doesn’t. The description said it would, but I just can’t find them??

Cat's Broom The Secret Garden High Waist JSK

A close-up of the print, however you can’t see the sparkle. Too much sparkle would not be okay. I have always been a fan of roses, so a print with pink roses feels perfect to me.

Cat's Broom The Secret Garden High Waist JSK

The back is shirred, which is a blessing because I can barely fit into this. The site said bust fits up to 114cm, and I am quite a bit under that. It’s too hot to try and fit a blouse underneath, but I also don’t plan on wearing this anytime soon either.
Cat's Broom The Secret Garden Normal Waist JSK

The normal waist JSK in lavender. Oh my gosh, I love this dress.

Cat's Broom The Secret Garden Normal Waist JSK

Love the bow, like on the other dress. Sadly, part of the bow is attached to the dress (so the bow doesn’t flop over) and it came undone when I tried it on. It was easy enough to re-sew (just a few stitches) but makes me wonder how delicate this dress is. The lacing on the front is literally just ribbon and lace, and I fear that could rip easily.

Cat's Broom The Secret Garden Normal Waist JSK

Here is the skirt detail. Love this so much. This fabric is also slightly sparkly as well.

Cat's Broom The Secret Garden Normal Waist JSK

The back is shirred, and there is a side zipper and a side pocket (woo!). However, there should be pink ribbon lacing up the back as well, but I removed it. My fears about the lace ripping, and also I couldn’t fit into this dress perfectly.

Again, the sizing says bust should fit up to 109cm. I measured before I ordered, and I measured right after trying it on, and I measured JUST NOW to be sure. I come in under 100cm. I should be able to zip it up all the way. but nope.The zipper comes up about halfway.

The side zipper lacks a hook and loop, so I am considering sewing a few on to help it zip up (I can hold the fabric together and it appears I can fit). However, a more immediate solution is to try and lose a little bit of weight. The past few weeks, I have been more lax in my menu planning and eating habits, plus while I was in Orlando, there was a delicious buffet with so many desserts. It would not hurt to slim down a bit and then try again. If that doesn’t work, then I’ll have to think about how I could alter it slightly, but I’d rather avoid that if possible.

Cat's Broom The Secret Garden Headpeice

There were several options for headpieces that matched the colorway, or just get a pink one that would match both, so I did that. This headband does not disappoint. It is beautiful, and I could probably wear it with another pink outfit (which I do not currently possess but it’s nice to be optimistic).

Very pleased with Clobba as a service (again).Less pleased with the brand Cat’s Broom. I wish these dresses fit better. Even with the part about how it fits better if the clothes are at least 4cm larger than your body for a good fit (which for both waist and bust, I am at least 4cm smaller than the maximum measurements!), these don’t fit well.  I will make this work somehow, but I would be hesitant to order from this brand again. Bummer.

So to conclude, I am going to try to diet, and I don’t plan on spending money on more lolita dresses for awhile anyway because I have my SF trip in a few months and also the sheer terror of graduating next year (my Boss is determined, and I have a committee meeting before the end of September where I’m sure he will remind everyone that I am absolutely leaving in May….). Thankfully, nothing has popped up lately that I am in love with, but I will let you know if something does come up.

I mean, besides the rose themed Angelic Pretty print I saw the other day. I can’t even be mad because I can’t afford that yet. I’ll buy Angelic Pretty after I have a job (a post doc counts…)


Long Sleepy Week

I am just now barely recovering from Florida- both the mental stress of the meeting and also the physical stress of it. Actually, I ran 2 miles and then slightly under 2 miles two days in a row, so that is probably why I am so physically tired. Also, we are in the middle of a heat wave, so that doesn’t help either.

I received my Clobba Order while I was gone, tried on my dresses and immediately decided I need to go on a diet. I’ll have a full review online soon. I just need to take pictures.

Also received an Amiami order while I was gone, but I haven’t even unpacked that yet. Whoops. That is what weekends are for, right?

Had a lot to do in lab with my High School student and my Undergrad student.  My high schooler is going to be gone the next 2 weeks so I’ll have to keep an eye on her experiments. My Undergrad’s experiments are ready so next week, we (or at least, I) will finish them. However, this means a lot of me going in to lab over the weekend.

Since returning from the meeting, I have been very self conscious and worried about future careers. I would like to work in an industry lab, however the meeting gave me zero hints towards how to do that. I am going to a career workshop next week, so maybe that will help. However, at the moment, I am thinking I should investigate post-docs more closely.  I still plan on trying to get an industry postdoc, and applying for industry jobs as well, but also work on applying for plain ol’ postdocs as well. Along with that, I’ll work on writing a F32 NIH grant (for postdocs. Apparently you shouldn’t write one until you know where you are going), and I would have looked at the options from the NSF if their website wasn’t currently down. Oh well.

After the meeting, where pretty much no one cared about my poster or my work, and the general environment of my lab (where it seems like the newer students who got super productive projects dropped in their lap get all the attention and praise), I was feeling down about being in science at all. Why bother if no one else cares? I know that surely my boss cares at some level (or else he would make me do a different project), but some positive feedback once in a blue moon would be nice.

Maybe I need a few days away from science to collect my thoughts once again.

Orlando Genetics Meeting in a Nutshell

I AM FINALLY HOME. My trip was awful, but the meeting itself was very nice. Once I am more recovered, I plan on writing about some of the talks I really liked. But for now, a brief recap of the past week.


Get to the airport early, get through security like a champ (however they find my hair suspicious for some reason. It might be so thick that it blocks the scanner?), find my gate, get on the plane. But then a storm in Chicago (where my connection was) prevented us from taking off for an hour. And then there was a storm here! So we actually took off over an hour after we were supposed to.

We get to Chicago 20 minutes before my connecting flight boards…and that gate is in a different terminal. I have two options: run, or take a shuttle that only arrives every 15 minutes. I run for it. If you happened to see a stressed girl running through the Chicago airport last Wednesday, that was me, and I apologize. I was able to get to my gate right before boarding was scheduled.

Boarding was slightly delayed. I didn’t have to run after all. We board, and since there was a backup of planes trying to leave Chicago, we sat on the plane without moving for yet ANOTHER hour.

Eventually, I get to Orlando, check in, put my super soft poster up and then wander. I missed all the mixer events (which I didn’t have a ticket to anyway) so I just wandered around a little. Also, my boss beat me to the meeting.


I find breakfast, I go to talks, I go eat lunch. However, there was a ticketed event around lunchtime I wanted to go to, however I chose lunch instead. I didn’t eat much the day before (due to airport shenanigans) so the lunch buffet was welcome. Afternoon- more talks and the poster session.

I hate poster sessions. Usually they are an hour, and you have to wait for people to come ask you about your poster. Five people asked, but only two cared about my new data. The others only wanted to learn about my Fiji Plugin. It’s not even MY plugin, I didn’t code it, I merely used it. Before and after the poster sessions, I lurked and chatted with vendors. I was too nervous to really talk to  After the poster session, I ran into a professor I know and chatted with her, and then later ran into her student. We had dinner and complained about things and it was really nice. I’m very glad I ran into her. I also just barely spoke to my boss. Not because we are on bad terms (we aren’t), but I was trying to be independent during this meeting. I have a habit of clinging to people when I am in new situations and I want to change that.

There was a Science Comedian Show on Thursday night. I expected it to be lame, since it was supposed to be about how to communicate science better. That is very important, but at that time, I just wanted some entertainment. Luckily, it was really great.


Wake up and go to many talks. Many many talks. A really good thing was that they supplied coffee and tea for us, and they had the BEST tea selection.  There was Tetley, and also Mighty Leaf. Wow, so delicious. I ate lunch, and then went swimming. The hotel had a beautiful outdoor pool, so I played around there a bit. There was also an indoor pool, but I never had a chance to swim in it.

Went to another poster session and harassed (?) more vendors. The GSA had a booth that had a prize wheel and also a little stage for mini-presentations (such as how to write titles that do not suck) and I ultimately won a T-shirt. All my luck this week went into that T-shirt.

Friday night, there was a Women in Genetics meeting.  I’m still unsure how I feel about that, since it made me feel a little depressed about my personality and being a scientist. It gave me a lot to think about.


There was a workshop on careers in Academia, and then one immediately afterwords that was about Non-Academic careers. I was hoping for tips on how to get a Post-Doc and how to break into industry. Instead, I got tips for interviewing to be a PI, and information from people who no longer do any sort of wet-lab research. There were 2 CEOs of startups, a database curator (which actually seems like an awesome job, but maybe a little boring), a science writer (I am not going back to school, as much as I’d like to be a science writer. Maybe I’ll just have a blog instead), and an assistant editor (I think she lacked a PhD, but her job also seemed amazing!) The workshops didn’t really tell me what I was hoping to hear, but instead reinforced that I need to network more.

The final poster session came and went, and I had a few more people talk to me, but they only want the plugin. At some point, I think I signed up for a free trial miniprep kit, and I talked to the booth that did mouse genome database curation. I think I’d be more interested in fly database curation (Hello Flybase!), but I am also unsure if that is what I would want to do either.


I get up early, get the room straightened, head to the airport. Orlando has a very nice airport. However, once there, I am bumped to a flight to Houston instead of Chicago. I put all my effort into not crying at the nice United agent, and she gets it all worked out. I was mostly worried about my checked luggage. I bum around, eat some Panda Express knock-0ff Chinese food (it was really delicious), and then fly to Houston.

I had never been to Texas before, so I suppose that is nice and new. Their airport seems much friendlier than the Chicago airport. I got some ice cream and an overpriced turkey sandwich.  However, I was stuck there for over six hours. My flight was on time, however there was engine trouble so the pilot decided to not fly it. It took two hours to get a new plane in, but once it arrived, they got us on and flew us home.

Yesterday, I was supposed to get home around 7:30pm, but it was midnight when I actually got home.

I am very divided over the entire experience. All of my traveling was awful (and then today when I told everyone of my misfortune, they were all ‘Why did you not fly Southwestern?!? It is so much cheaper?!?!?’ Ah well when I booked my flights, it was not cheaper and I only have so much Women’s Council money)(also, my boss’s flights to and from the meeting went perfectly smoothly. Bah.) but the meeting itself was fine.

The talks I went to were all great. I tried to go to a talk from at least every genetic model (Fly, C. elegans, Ciliate, Yeast, Zebrafish, Population, Evolutionary and Quantitaive Genomics), and was successful…except for Mouse. None of the mouse talks really grabbed my attention, and I am also so internally resistant to doing mouse research myself. I don’t care that the NIH wants to fund it the most. The other genetic models just appeal to me more.

Unless he has forgotten, my boss wants me to talk about some of the things I liked from this meeting at lab meeting this week, so I will try to organize my thoughts by Thursday.

Orlando Trip pre-packing adventures

On Wednesday, I am flying down to Orlando for The Allied Genetics Conference. (TAGC, get it? ha ha ha nope)

I love going to conferences, because it is usually a mini-vacation (even though I intend to be all serious business and involved with the conference and not screw off to sight-see…like the last Fly Meeting I went to).  I am extremely grateful to be able to travel and have it paid for by the school (well, funding I applied for from the school, so it’s not like I got free money with no work put into it).

However, conferences are also very stressful to deal with, because I have to drive to the airport, then fly in a plane, get a connection at a DIFFERENT airport, finally get to another different airport and hope my transportation will get me to the hotel, and then there is all the stress of figuring out food. This is all before the actual conference attending happens. This weekend, I plan on getting most of my packing done.

I did a Target run to pick up things I might need, like sunscreen. Whenever I have mentioned to someone in the past months that I am going to Florida, they immediately tell me how I need lots and lots of sunscreen. I already have a lot of sunscreen, but my favorite has been a spray-on type that I don’t think I could take on a plane (even in a checked bag), so I bought a lotion-type. It smells like bananas! I usually hate sunscreen because it’s so oily and thick feeling, and the spray-on kind is less oily and thick (still not ideal though), but the new stuff seems to be okay.

Also searched for a travel size of some kind of cleansing oil. Etude House (a Korean brand) makes my current favorite, but decanting into a new container is a huge mess. I though maybe Garnier had a travel size, but nope (shame, since that is the one domestic cleansing oil I like). Burt’s Bees makes one, AND I found it in tiny 29.5ml bottles, so I bought 4.

Woe, I say. First, the bottles are kinda hard to get oil out of. Second, I tested it on some eyeliner I drew on my hand and it is NOT good at removing eyeliner. Ugh. I did buy some makeup wipes I usually use, and invested in Garnier’s micellar water so I’ll take those along too. Actually, I tested the micellar water and it seems to remove eye makeup pretty well! At least the oil cleanser will be a good general face wash…but wait I already got a face wash…ahh I guess I’ll double cleanse a lot.

I also bought a tiny bottle of Cetaphil face wash, some tiny OGX shampoo and conditioner, and gummy vitamins. I’d use Cetaphil all the time except I need to use up my current face washes first. OGX is generally too expensive (and the bottles are too small) to use regularly but I am excited to use the little sample sizes. I wasn’t planning on taking vitamins with me but travel containers for gummy vitamins is a great idea. Gummy vitamins in general are a great idea. I think the only reason I take vitamins as regularly as I do is because they’re gummy.

Anyway, there is still much to pack.

-4 outfits (plus whatever I wear on the plane Wednesday)
-swimsuit and flipflops! I can’t go to a fancy hotel with a pool and NOT swim!
-2 shoes (comfy gym shoes and also nicer shoes)
-clothes for gym (there is supposed to be a workout center so I should go run, right?)
-sunscreen (for face and body)
-a bag to carry notebooks and daily things in while at the meeting
-notebooks and pens (maybe one for career-oriented topics and one for research-oriented topics)
-makeup remover, face wash
-toner, face lotion, face cream, sheet masks
-shampoo, conditioner, soap, lotion?
-plush friend
-electronics and their chargers
-portable charger (pre-charged)
-emergency tea and chocolate (▰˘◡˘▰)’
-vitamins, medicine, etc
-POSTER (I got my Spoonflower cloth poster the other day and it is amazing and I am not sure if my Boss has noticed yet but he hasn’t said anything so I don’t know)

I’m sure I will add more things to the list, but it helps to have a list to start with.

July 2016 Doki Doki Crate

My final (for now…) Doki Doki Crate! I mentioned a few posts ago that I cancelled anyway, so honestly, this crate could have been really good or bad and it would not have mattered.  This month’s theme is Summer Festivals.

oh yea doki doki sunshine!

Once again, the art on the booklet cover is super cute.

oh yea doki doki sunshine!

Overview of all the items. Meh. I am overcome with feelings of meh, and is that yet ANOTHER new exclusive character? It seems like ever since there was a kerfluffle a few months ago about getting fake name-brand plushies, they have only sent us exclusive original character plushies. Actually, this is probably better, but dangit I wanna see more of Petit Lapin! Petit Lapin was my favorite!

Only thing I forgot to individually photograph is the little packet of Hoppechan tattoo stickers. Oops.

oh yea doki doki fish time!

Kingyou to Remon…goldfish and lemon. How descriptive. We have a duo of a goldfish who looks like an orange, Kiko, and a sentient depressed lemon with a gender who looks like a fish, Wawa. Ah ok then, clearly a second fish that resembles fruit was going too far so we need a fruit that resembles a fish. I’m just glad I got Kiko and not a plush lemon.

oh yea doki doki whatevers!

Miscellaneous cute bits! A “bonus” ice cream keychain, the monthly Hoppe-chan, a Gudetama kitchen clip, a watermelon hairband, and a tiny omamori amulet. Actually, the amulet is super cute and detailed with embroidery of previous Dokidoki Crate characters like Hoppe (is Hoppe a Dokidoki character?), Petit Lapinnnn, and the weird Harajuku twins from last time.

oh yea doki doki doki doks!

More detail of the Gudetama clip…it’s magnetic! It now live on my fridge to scare my Mom! Also, there was a tiny frog included with the omomori charm…a good luck frog. It’s tiny and now lives inside the charm.

The special item this month was a Tsumtsum Wink Blind Box. I don’t care about Disney Tsumtsums, so whatever. I got the 3-eyed alien from Toy Story, but it’s winking with 2 of it’s 3 eyes. Would a 1 eye wink not be winky enough? I guess it’s better than sparkle Snoopy.

oh yea toki doki memorial!

They included a paper fan, printed with our Dokidoki friends, and a matching handkerchief. The handkerchief is the same material as last time, so feels like a terry towel and I dunno how useful it would be. Both now live in my school bag just in case. The fan is a cheap paper fan, but considering my house is ONLY partially air conditioned, I won’t turn up my nose at this.

its a towel and I'm done with secret puns!

They also included a larger towel! Well, not as large as a standard bath towel, but longer/narrower than a standard face towel. It’s a weird shape. I’ll stick it in a random bag for day trips. Also, the design is weird- I clearly got Korilakkuma here, so why does it just say Rilakkuma? Is this also a sketchy item of questionable origin?

nioo nico NOPE

Finally, because summer, they included a tenugui, which is a thin linen towel that is used more traditionally in Japan. It’s all lovely…except wtf why would they have Japan written on it? That is super cringeworthy to me so I cannot use this around other people. Imagine the conversation.

Person: *sees Japan towel* Oh did you get that in Japan?

Me: Nah it’s from a subscription box lol

Delete the words and I’m sure it’s okay.

Overall, I am both pleased and disappointed in this box. I feel like there are the most useful items this month (all the damn towels, the clip, the fan, hairband) but the theme of Summer Festival is really boring to me. Today is Tanabata, which is one of the summer festivals, but they don’t talk about it at all in the booklet. That would have been easy!

After going through this box, I am kinda glad I cancelled my subscription. I am just super unimpressed with Doki Doki Crate. If I had a ton of money to throw around on things that are usually meh (with the occasional wow!), I would resubscribe. But for now, it’s not worth the money. ESPECIALLY since I am trying to save up. Other than content, Doki Doki Crate (and I guess Japan Crate) have great customer service and cancelling is super easy, and I got this box within a few days of receiving the tracking email.

There are a few other subscription boxes I am interested in. YumeTwins is about $30 a month, so not cheaper than Dokidoki. It also seems to focus on “dreamy” kawaii, so that’s up my alley. KawaiiBox has cute Japanese and Korean goodies, and is only $20 a month. Nandemo Box is $35 a month (more expensive!), but that includes shipping and is based out of Japan. There are also various snack boxes and beauty boxes I like to dream about buying but I think for now I should limit myself to Kawaii-themed boxes.

Once I have a lot more money saved up, I will give those others a shot. Heck, maybe I’ll try to do a mega subscription review someday where I order from all 4 of them for a month. Maybe for Christmas or something.




Happy Independence Day! My family doesn’t really celebrate it anymore (that is a long story), but I got to see the boyfriend and his family this past weekend for their Independence Day celebrations.

I took a half day of work (technically, I didn’t have to go in at all, but I wanted to set up a few things), and then came home to throw away junk. I found out that this week is Trash Amnesty week for my city, so we are allowed to put out up to 15 bags (instead of the usual 2). A great opportunity to get rid of some junk!

I have heard about this technique called “Konmari” where you only keep the things that bring you joy, but I don’t feel like reading the book or going through all of my stuff. However, in the spirit of that, I tossed a bunch of pairs of jeans that were ragged. Seriously, either the knees had been patched at least once or the hole was too big to patch, or I had given up and turned the pair into some cut-offs. However, the cut-offs look ragged too, and I haven’t worn them in years (recently, I suffer with full jeans, or wear a skirt instead), so to the trash.

Then I went through my pajamas. There was one thing I read online from a decluttering forum was that they said that if your clothes have a permanent stain or holes, be gone with it. Good advice.  I have several shirts that have holes just from being so old. So I threw out pajamas that were hole-y, and I will re-purpose daily wear shirts with holes as either pajamas (if it’s not too bad) or something else.  However, this all kinda stinks a little because most of my daily wear clothes is just whatever from Target. The stuff I am just now throwing out is so nice (long shirts that don’t have a low neckline) and I can’t find the same styles again. Also, I worry the newer items are thinner material and less hardy (meaning I would have to replace sooner).

There were also some miscellaneous things I got rid of. Two purses I bought off GMarket years ago that fell apart, some expired witch hazel, a book that was water damaged from a few years ago, a really gross homemade lace skirt disaster that I made a long time ago in college.

The big thing I want to declutter is all my old notebooks. I still have a ton of notes from my undergrad classes, which I no longer need. Also, my first year graduate class notes, which again, I don’t use. I have the textbooks. There are also tons of notebooks from high school and earlier for stories and ideas I had but never did anything with.  I can probably recycle a great deal of this stuff. But throwing out old notebooks is the hardest thing to do. So I plan on working on that throughout the rest of the week until trash day.