Lethargic summer times

I guess ILD was only two weeks ago, but it feels like it’s been forever since I wore any lolita clothes.  I briefly considered wearing something super toned down for today, but decided it is too damn hot. It’s already +90F and it’s only the middle of June! I can’t stand this! I am still a bit cautious about wearing it around my non-lolita friends, since it might attract attention to them that they would be uncomfortable with. ヽ(´ー`)┌ I wonder if I am feeling so antsy because instead of going to meets (I think there was one today but I originally was going to help a friend move today, but I helped her yesterday so I could see my old friends today). I will try again in July, except both coms have scheduled a meet at the same bakery one day apart. Can I really eat donuts two days in a row? Absolutely. But do I want to dress up in many frilly layers in the middle of July to do so?

๏_๏ I am still undecided. It’s so hot and my house barely has AC so even getting ready for a meet would be torture.

Today, I went to go see my college friend who is back in her hometown for about 2 weeks.  We had a great time!

There is a little donut shop in town that we always meet up at, so the other out of town friends and I have an easy place to park our cars. But also, donuts. I am pretty proud of myself because I only bought this one cream cheese donut. Most years, we end up getting a ton and stuffing our faces.

We did do to lunch right after donuts. My friend from this town told us about this bistro that has 5 different kinds of Asian cuisine, so we went there (mostly because no one else wanted to pick and that was the last place I remember her talking about). It was delicious! There was egg drop soup (not pictured), and I got the galbi (ribs) bento box. Included is kimchi (I ate one bite and that is about all I can handle), vegetable tempura, some gyoza (dumplings), rice and a small slice of roll cake. It was so delicious, and almost too much food. I made sure to finish the meat though- it was amazing.

Also, restaurant bento box lunch specials are so fun to eat because you get to try a bunch of things.

After stuffing our faces, we explores some shops, such as the yarn shop we always ALWAYS go to (my friends like to knit and crochet….I embroider….), and then to the British food shop, which means, of course, I had to buy tea.

Tea enthusiasts seem to say that PG tips and Yorkshire are very good tea brands that normal people drink in the UK, so giving it a shot. Literally cannot mess this up. Also, a variety tin from The English Cream Tea Company with 4 different flavors of tea. Cream tea doesn’t refer to a beverage called ‘cream tea’, but a small afternoon meal, where you drink tea and have scones with clotted cream and jam.

Also I bought shortbread, in memory of the one time I tried to bake shortbread and failed spectacularly.

After a little shopping, we went and got ice cream.  I would have taken a picture, but I was busy eating ice cream.

Paradiso 2017 day 2 and final thoughts

Day 2 was the Tea Party, the Coordinate Contest and Q&A with Hello Batty.

First, here is my outfit.

Angelic Pretty Romantic Cat, which fit me about as well as expected. Didn’t realize there was a zipper until I got it on, but the zipper is required to take the dress off. Also needed an underskirt or else it would be way too short, but my pink F+F underskirt matches well enough. Wore it with one of my new Diamond Honey chiffon blouses, Cat’s Broom headpiece (which someone wanted a detail shot of?!?!?! That is…uh…okay?), tights and Sosic Shop shoes.

Lots of people recognized the print and were excited. That is what happens when you wear newly released AP, I suppose.

Holy hell, these are the best shoes in my entire life. They are even Kitty-approved. But seriously, when I put them on this morning, they were SO COMFORTABLE. My Amazon shoes pinch a little bit and are sore after a few hours, even the ones I wore yesterday. But these…oh my goodness, I could wear them all day. I could walk in them for long distances. I CAN DRIVE IN THEM. Probably cause the heel is so low, but OMG. Sosic Shop is going to get so many shoe orders from me once I am able to buy shoes again.

Face detail.

Tea was at the Webster House, a historical old home that has been converted to antique shop/restaurant. It is very pretty inside. As a restaurant, it is an upscale place. Not sure what their catering menu is, since their site says they custom design it to your event.

The shops are downstairs and the restaurant is upstairs.

There are even comfy places to rest in the bathroom. You want a fancy bathroom where the stalls are individual rooms without space for creeps to peek in? Webster House has it. It’s great.

So the first thing I noticed when we got to our tables was the tea.

Harney and Sons! That’s great tea! Still bagged tea, so not quite as fancy as Anna Marie’s loose leaf, but I will gladly take this, considering you have to account for the tastes of a wide variety of people. This is so much better than the Bigelow at the Nakakon Tea Party or last year’s Paradiso.

A tea party without enough hot water is awful. However, there were servers who regularly replaced the hot water for us, without us asking. They would come and check on the water. Also, if you got up and left your napkin in your seat, one would come over and fold it nicely for you. I couldn’t believe my eyes; that just seems so over-the-top fancy.  There were also sugar cubes, but didn’t see any lemon or milk. I imagine if someone really wanted some, they could have asked.

The food was delicious. When I first got up to the buffet, I was worried that the food was almost gone (I waited to get food after other people had), but then servers came back and refilled the buffet. SEVERAL TIMES. So the savory foods were bruschetta with basil and tomato, cucumber with herb cheese, toasted brioche with salmon, hollandaise and dill. The sweets were a dark chocolate strawberry, mini eclair, tiny lemon tart and mini cupcakes (strawberry chantilly, lemon raspberry and mocha).  And there was enough for seconds, or thirds.  IT WAS AMAZING. Didn’t like the mocha cupcake, but that’s just because I don’t like coffee.

Even if we end the Tea Party here, then I would give this a 10/10. I can’t find how much the individual day tickets cost anymore.  Early bird price was $35 per day, or $60 for both days (which I did) and I think Day 1 individual was $40. VIP was $75 for both days early bird or $50 for Day 1 (no special VIP benefits for Day 2), and unsure how much it went up.  But if all you wanted to do was go to the Day 2 Tea Party, $35 is a STEAL. Anne Marie’s Tea was around $30 for me, and you get one platter of food and all the tea you could want, but better quality tea. For this event, you get so much food and tea and water.  All of the hiccups from Day 1 (loli basement, lack of chairs, terribad lighting for photography) were not issues on Day 2. The Day 1 event still needs some kinks to be worked out, but if Paradiso makes Day 2 the Tea Party at the Webster House a regular event, it would be pretty damn awesome.  And I imagine people who just want the Tea Party or though the Day 1 experience was lame would be willing to go for Day 2 in the future.

But the there was also a Q&A with Hello Batty, a lolita fashion blogger from Arizona and the Coordinate Contest. I missed the end of the Q&A and the entire contest (which ended up just being her declaring the coord she liked the best) because I had to go find an isolated place to cough a lung up.  After that, the organizers tried to take some group shots of us, so we all squeezed onto some stairs.  I went home shortly after that.

So to review the entire event, compared to last year.

Fashion Show – more designers present, but some things were very much not lolita. Also the photography that has been posted so far stinks because we were in a basement. Last year’s fashion show had fewer models, but the lighting was great. As for how good the coords were this year vs last year…I recall thinking some last year were kind of wonky but at least everyone had a petticoat.

Food – Day 1 food was pretty sad but I was not expecting much. Day 2 food was amazing. This was a huge improve.

Tea – 1000% better.

Location – both locations had close, although paid parking. Hotel Phillips is pretty, but we were in a basement.  WHY. WHY A BASEMENT.  They have other event spaces.  The Webster House is amazing and I hope the event can go back/I hope no one did anything to piss off management.

Vendors – Lolita Collective is always great. Papercute is great. Teal is great.  Didn’t care for anything from Wunderwelt but that’s not their fault. The other vendors didn’t interest me too much but nothing wrong with that.  One vendor never showed up, so nothing to comment on that. However, it was dark, and the racks for LC and Wunderwelt were shoved into corners because WE WERE IN A BASEMENT.

Ouji Pageant – this was hilarious. I don’t know much about what makes a good vs a bad ouji outfit, and one prince was definitely EGA and not ouji, but it was funny and I hope this occurs again.   Last year, the special event was going to an art museum (a FREE one, by the way), which was nice, but also not really special.

Event Guests – ヽ(´ー`)┌  There were 3 guests this year compared to 1 guest last year, but it seemed like they mostly stuck to the people they already knew.  Maybe I am just too anti-social and shy to go talk to them myself so I am biased. Guests aren’t really something that would draw me to an event, unless it was someone REALLY famous (and thus not gonna happen, most likely).

I think this year definitely improved compared to last year in all aspects, aside from location. I didn’t even like the location last year, but BASEMENT. If they were going to do something like a gothic lolita themed tea, it might work better. But for a general lolita event where people want to take pictures and browse through dress racks, you need a larger room and GOOD LIGHTING.  Also, it was nice that you could attend either of the days and not necessarily both. I hope they keep that model.

Overall, I had a good weekend, made new friends and didn’t die. Still no idea what was in the VIP goodie bags, but I think that if I attend next year (if I am in the area…), I would probably give VIP another shot. At least so I can have a damn chair.

Spring Tea Party Meet

Today was my group’s spring birthdays meet, which was at Anna Marie’s Tea House, which is associated with a tea shop of the same name. They have very good tea, and I first got to try it at the tea festival I went to last year.  They host tea parties regularly and also do private events.

I am still curious as to find out if anyone actually has a spring birthday. Oh well. Good excuse to dress up and drink tea in public regardless.

I feel like I am definitely getting better at this. I do need better tights, and am working on it (even if it means buying tights and having to convert them somehow). I was also thinking of how I ought to describe my style. I feel like it is sweet lolita, but not the over the top uguu-kawaii type, so maybe classic-sweet lolita?

So Rose Museum JSK is extra comfy. Fits well, even though I feel like the bodice is a little short. This might just be tall person problems.

Here is a selfie to give a slightly better example of hair and headbow styling.   My face is not always an alpaca, but it is here.

At the tea party, we had the CUTEST tea. The tea cups were cute, and we were served a sample of white champagne raspberry tea to go along with a mini fruit bowl. Then so many snacks. Cucumber sandwiches and a red pepper sandwich, many little pastries and scones and such.

Ta-da, the menu. This place really reminds me of a little tea house in the town I went to college in, except it closed down. T_T If it was still open, I bet I could have invited other people in my group to go have tea there.

Look at this cute food. The scone was my favorite, I think. Kind of makes me want to make scones sometime. But it’s best to eat them with cream (they had some at the tea party today) or lemon curd (you can buy this, but once I made it from scratch. It’s always better from scratch but man, it was a long afternoon).

The service at Anna Marie’s was really good, and there were lots of other people there for the tea (at different tables), but they thought we were all just so freaking cute.  It was a good experience, although maybe not the most cost efficient, but in the future, I would like to attend more of their tea parties.

After tea, we decided to go to a local antique shop. I really enjoy antique shops because they are filled with such weird, old items. However, I was careful to not buy anything because it would just have to be packed and moved later this year.

Top left, we have a cute cat statue that serves no purpose beyond being cute.

Top right, we have some “antique” crystal champagne glasses, wine glasses, tiny wine glasses and some other kind of glass. I put antique in parenthesis because these are the EXACT glasses we have at home. The exact ones Mom bought after Dad died…..7 years ago. I even picked some of them up to inspect them more closely. Yup. Same thing. And being sold for $7.50 each. Mom laughed when I told her this because she said she got hers for almost that much money for a pack of 6 glasses. Ha.

Bottom left is a large goose statue. Or swan. I don’t know why I felt like taking a picture of it.

Bottom right are some cute moon-shaped dishes that looked familiar to me. They are familiar because Mom has one. This is why I like antique stores- they remind me of Mom and all the antique stuff she likes.

There is supposed to be another meet next weekend (thankfully a lot closer to where I live), but there is also a Hello Kitty cafe truck coming into town, so I am unsure if this meet will be moved or cancelled. I, for one, am not particularly interested in going to a Hello Kitty cafe truck, but it is apparently something very popular thing.

Spring Picnic Event

My comm had a picnic today! Or rather, it was originally going to be a picnic, but ended up being a tea inside. The weather was originally supposed to be nice, then rainy, but ended up being nice after all.

Finally wearing my Cat’s Broom The Secret Garden Normal Waist JSK. I was worried it wouldn’t fit, and struggled with the zipper. But it fit. Also, I am trying out my new chiffon blouse from Taobao. It fits. It is super warm. Also part of my outfit are two petticoats (I need to stop buying dresses and invest in poofier ones), pink shoes and plain white tights. No wrist cuffs due to long sleeves. Wore my hair down with a flower veil headdress. It’s not shown here, but I though it worked out well.

Since I knew we would be outside, I took a parasol with me. Wasn’t sure if pink or white looked better. Technically, the pinks nor the whites match, but I ended up taking the white one today.

So the zipper was fine, but the shoulder straps of the dress kept slipping down. There are 3 button holes and I had it on the loosest one since I hoped it would help the dress fit better. This lead to the strap slipping, my arm reaching in a bad angle and popping off a button. What the hell?! This is the second time I’ve had to mend a Cat’s Broom dress. The button was originally sewn only into the lining. So while wearing the dress, I pretty much turned it around, sewed the button back on and reinforced the other button. Then tried to button up to the second hole.

The straps still kept falling down all day. What the heck/

There was a lot of food at the tea party.

It was pretty simple stuff, but super yummy.

A lot of people showed up, which was nice. Eventually we took a group picture, and I don’t look like complete trash so that is nice.  Talked a little about AP’s new prints and how people think the 2010-2012 era of Angelic Pretty was the best. ヽ(´ー`)┌ Also chiffon is not at all breathable.

Eventually, some of us went to the local shops. There is a British store there, which I have been to before and every time I go to this town, I buy tea there. Just Twinings, but I cannot find Earl Grey-Jasmine or Earl Grey-Lavender in stores in my city. Also, supporting small businesses, blah blah.

When we first got there, we lost everyone, since we drove to the shops in two groups. So my group was looking around for everyone else. A few random people helped up out by saying they saw similarly dressed people a block over (where we had started from, ha). That still makes me giggle a bit. We did eventually regroup and all was well.

Since we were a crowd of lolitas, there were comments from strangers. For the most part, people just said they liked out outfits. There was one group of hooligans who was saying something about “can we be princesses too?” but we all just walked by without responding.  After this, a few people were a little grumpy about how they’ll snap if one more person says something sassy. ⊙︿⊙ Did I miss all the other sassy remarks? The only other remotely sassy bit was some guy asked why we were dressed up, so I quickly responded with “For Easter”. It’s a good excuse, technically correct, and a few people (not me) had bunny themed outfits.  That shut them up, but I don’t think it was out of spite that they asked.

We went to a Japanese Garden to rest. It was pretty small, but a nice use of space in a mostly commercial area.


Finally, we went and got drinks at a Boba Tea cafe. I just got regular tea, since I don’t like boba tea. After that, everyone went home.

Today’s meet was really fun, and I had a good time. I also feel like my outfit was pretty good too. I could probably do with some more accessories (a necklace, I think), and I just remembered that I was going to add some pink hair clips too but obviously forgot. Haha whoops. Didn’t have an appropriate bag today, but I’m not too beat up over it.

Still, home was an hour from where the meet was, so I was happy to get home and change back into normal, more breathable clothes. I just wanted to air things out, but the cat decided she needed to sleep on them instead. (ノ ̄д ̄)ノ So looks like I get to do more laundry tomorrow!

Running Errands in the Rain

All week, I looked forward to dressing up and running errands, because my life is ridiculously boring like that.

Left is what I actually wore out. F+F Puck’s Prank One-piece dress, blouse (it’s under the sweater), hair braided and with a hair bow.

Right is a mostly proper lolita coordinate. The flower veil headpiece is something I got at Paradiso last year and never wore, and now I know why. It looks stupid. It looks like something one would wear as a bride. Nope nope nope, but here I gave it a shot. Also, the wristcuffs which are stretched now. How did this happen?? Shoes are not appropriate, but if they were grey or that pale shade of blue, I think they would work better. ヽ(ー_ー )ノ

Something I have been mulling over is when to call an outfit “lolita”. I really enjoy wearing lolita clothes, however, I feel like I have made few improvements with shoes, and very minimal improvements with other accessories (and none with hair). So I generally err on the side of NOT calling something lolita. On my instagram, when I post images of outfits, I tag the brands and the print name, but do not mention lolita or lolita fashion at all. Partially because I don’t really want to have to explain everything to my non-J-Fashion-educated friends, but also because I am still not confident that any of my outfits are really good enough to call lolita. But on this blog, I feel a little more comfortable on tagging it because I am also explaining what I am going for. And also, pointing out the problems with (literally all of) my outfits, because I am working on it.

So back to today’s outfit. The outfit on the left is not lolita. Maybe lolita-inspired, or wearing-lolita-in-a-normal/casual way. The outfit on the right is more akin to something I would wear to a meet, except with better shoes.

Anyway, on to the stuff I did today, which was running errands and taking gratuitous pictures of my crab apple tree.

AHHH it’s so beautiful, I love it so much. And I am already feeling a bit sad that next spring, I will be elsewhere and unable to see this tree in person. The pictures do not do it justice.

But I love my crabapple tree.

This is actually from one of the apple trees in my backyard. It finally bloomed.

In tradition with the posts I did last fall where I would dress up and then eat something and write about it, this was my breakfast. Cinnamon toast and some green tea.

Lunch was a Crispy Chicken Puff and an Egg Tart from the bakery of one of the Asian Supermarkets I went to.  Looking back, since this is all I have really eaten thus far today, this would explain why I have a headache.

Also, why I bought a stupid amount of snacks and Easter candy today. (ノ ̄д ̄)ノ Whoops.

Also I bought a stupid amount of tea. Because clearly I needed more green tea and jasmine green tea, and hey let’s try lavender green tea too, and then there’s matcha green and matcha jasmine which are totally different and how about rose black tea since I love roses but that one rose green tea was awful so clearly this is a good idea. ¬_¬ So in short, being completely irresponsible. I did need more tea to bring to lab for my morning caffeine, so I will drag along some of these for sure.

Nakakon Day 3

It’s finally Tea Party day!

LE&SE Mushroom Forest (which I always confuse for Mushroom Kingdom…). I put little buns in my hair and used the hair clips and some other pink hair clips to try and balance it out a bit more, but it looked kinda messy. Used two petticoats, plus this JSK already has a petticoat built in…to make up for the lack of poof yesterday. I wore the lace wristcuffs for this picture, but then took them off because I think the elastic in them is dying. Also, I wore a pink cardigan (not shown here) because it is COLD. Same half blouse and tights and shoes as I’ve worn before. I wore the little kitty necklace that I planned on wearing, even though it doesn’t match very well.

I got plenty of compliments today, which was nice. It seems like printed dresses earn compliments, when I think back to what I wore last year (Musical Palmer and Enchanted Forest got comments but Chiffon Lover did not) and this year. I wondered if maybe I would only get comments on my AP also, but I got a lot of comments at the Tea Party today.

I got a few pictures taken while I was at the con too, which I wouldn’t be worried about…except a picture someone took of me showed up on Facebook already (in the cosplay photo group), and my friend posted her pictures also, and she’s already been posted on other parts of the internet. ;__; They’re not being too mean about her yet, but I really hope that she doesn’t find out. I though she looked cute today ;_____; And if people were upset about her outfit today, then what I wore on Friday would certainly set people off. I’m still not great at hair, and my shoes Friday were NOT ideal. ヽ(ー_ー )ノ Maybe I will just stay away from that part of the internet for a few days.

First order of business with shopping was to buy Meowchis. FINALLY got the Mango and Lychee meowchis. Actually, they had some of the Halloween limited Meowchis from 2016, and while I prided myself as collecting all the Meowchi variants for awhile…I give up. I didn’t like the zombie and pumpkin. But mango and lychee are cute, and I look forward to the upcoming flavors.

I found a mini Hanayo nesoberi yeserday but it was the Happy Maker outfit, which is fine, but I got a mini Kotori last year with the Bokutachi no Hitotsu no Hikari/We are One Light outfit last year, and that is the BEST outfit. Internet friend found a Hanayo with the Bokutachi outfit yesterday, so I though for sure I’d be out of luck. NOPE. I happened across a booth with SEVEN of them, so of course I bought one.

Side note, I wish I would have been able to meet that Internet friend, but our paths never crossed. Bummer.

I didn’t spend all the money I saved for shopping this year. I think I will put it towards my next Nakakon (which may not be next year).

The Tea Party was in a different building compared to last year. This lead to many people getting lost, because I guess even some con staff didn’t know where it would be. There was a map in the guide book, but it would have helped if they labeled the streets on the map. >_> I did not have any problems finding the location though.

This year, everyone got a free gift! I got a bracelet. Good. This is the kind of stuff I need.

THE FOOD WAS 100X BETTER THIS YEAR. Last year, the food was awful but at least there was Tazo tea. This year, there were SO many sweets. So much. It was wonderful. Actually, the things were almost too sweet for me, so I ended up not eating everything on my plate The chocolate covered red velvet cake ball was too much so I only took one bite, and I had to pick at the red velvet cake whoopie pie to eat it. I think this is all on me though. Maybe the addition of some fresh fruit would be nice. I am not complaining about the food though. Good job organizers, this was fantastic.

However, for tea we just got Bigelow, so the cheap-one-step-up-from-plain-Lipton-tea. As a tea connoisseur…actually, I don’t care because we got individual tea bags so I could steep it myself. Last year was the same deal, but Tazo tea bags (so high end grocery store tea). The year before, there was actually loose leaf tea in the pots, so that was the highest quality of tea I’ve had at one of these tea parties.  I would have picked Twinings or Stash if I was planning the tea party, but this is really nothing to complain about.

There was a raffle again, and I won nothing, but that’s okay. The prizes were gloves (cute), a blouse (probably too small even if it has shirring because Atelier Pierrot), two parasols (which I already own) and two wigs (how do I wig?!??!). Chatted with a lot of people and it was fun. In years past, they would do group photo-shoots, but I decided ahead of time that I would skip it this year. This year, there was a location set up for individual photos, but I didn’t want to get my picture taken.

Overall, this was a fun weekend! I think that I dressed pretty well this time, except for the nitpicks I have with my Friday and Saturday outfits. I was talking to one kid that I met up with a few times over the weekend and she mentioned that she was embarrassed by her outfit last year, so I told her I was in the same boat but every year, we all get better and better at this (even though I think she is already better at lolita fashion than I am…) This time next year, I hope to have outfits that I don’t have any nitpicks about, so I can wear them to Nakakon or whatever con I end up going to in 2018. The panels were pretty lame this year, but the Final Fantasy concert was amazing and I feel like I had better social interactions this year, so that makes up for the panel complaint. One always hopes that next time will be better.

Tea and Me

There are several things I have a weakness for. Cute and kawaii goods. Sailor Moon merchandise. Stationery and journaling items. Tea. Today, we are addressing the last thing on this list.

I have a large collection of tea, because clearly I need to have all the flavors available to me at all times. When I go to lab, I usually start the day with some black tea. After dinner, I usually drink several cups of herbal tea, and lately, decaffinated green tea.  I almost never drink caffinated tea after noon, except on seminar days because you need caffeine to sit through a seminar. Last seminar, I drank peppermint tea and by the end I couldn’t stay awake. Peppermint is even supposed to help you wake up!

Part of the reason I have so much tea is because if I see I am starting to run low, I go buy more. And then maybe will randomly get a new flavor, or a backup of something else I like. And then I end up with two shelves full of tea.

I need to clear off the shelf.

I am going to try to drink it all up. Gradually, I will take the caffinated teas to lab as I drink up what I keep there (usually a variety pack of Twinings) and of course, continue drinking up the un-caffinated tea I have at home. But I will have to use the loose tea all at home because it would be way too messy to deal with in lab.

The final goal of this is so I can simplify my tea shelf. And then probably make a big order from Twinings online store and/or Stash Tea to get all the flavors again. :p

My favorite Stash teas are Peach Black Tea, White-Green Fushion, Jasmine Green and Lemon Ginger. My favorite Twining Teas are Jasmine Green, Jasmine Earl Grey (it exists!), Pomegranate Delight and Lady Grey. Favorite Tazo teas are Calm Chamomile, Wild Sweet Orange and Flowering Honeybush. I think I’ve mostly out grown Celestial Seasonings, but their Sleepytime Peach is the greatest thing ever.