Category Archives: birthday

Hot Times at CoolMess

This has been the summer of ice cream for me. Now that I’m fully recovered from my kidney transplant, my diet is now free to include as much dairy products as I can stomach. Drippy, melty, icy treats have been my poison of choice this season, and I decided to celebrate my birthday by ticking off my list of top New York ice creameries – starting with CoolMess on 62nd St. (Check out Time Out New York for a great guide to local ice cream shops if you want to get your cream on.)

CoolMess is a brightly colored escape from the heat with one key feature – make-your-own mix-in soft-serve done right at your table. We went with a rainbow-theme for our vanilla creation – gummy bears, strawberry slices and mini M&Ms – and a salted caramel vibe for the chocolate, featuring Heath Bar chunks, caramel sauce and whole chocolate-covered pretzels. The staff assists you with making your cool messipe, so it’s pretty foolproof. And if you’re really hungry, or just want to dip your fries in your frosty, you can order directly from their partner Burger Heaven downstairs.

This was my first time in a long time putting together a video for the website! Back in 2008, I used to have a very small Youtube channel called the Charm Channel, as partnered with the original incarnation of my blog, Lolita Charm. I’m working on updating my video game so I can start making on-location and in-studio videos for you all with lots of fun content. This is just a little taste to start! Let me know what kind of video content you’d like to see on Parfait Doll! The channel is also up and running if you’d like to subscribe.

Sprinkles, rainbows, and neon were key style points at CoolMess.

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I chose to wear the ultimate ice-cream-theme dress for my party – Angelic Pretty’s iconic print Milky Planet. Even though it’s an older collection nowadays, the glitter, rainbows, and castles made out of ice cream cones are still one of my favorite looks. I recently heard the 2008 – 2012 period referred to as the Angelic Pretty ‘golden years’ and I have to say, I agree. Some of their best work was produced in the early days of print mania, and it’s not hard to see why they were the standard of lolita fashion particularly at the time.

Here’s to another great year of fashion and blogging! Thanks to all of my squad who came out to help me celebrate!

Thoughts on Twenty-Seven with Sailor Moon

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This is the year I turned twenty-seven. If you asked me when I started this blog in 2008 what it would be like to hit the late-20s stretch, I’m sure you’d hear a host of foreign ideas of what it means to be thoroughly out of the college years. It reminds me of LeAnn Rime’s “Something’s Gotta Give” song – “Jenny’s got a job, a cat named Jake, and thirty-one candles on a birthday cake – next year”. According to LeAnn, she thought by now she’d have a man, two car seats and a minivan, but it still ain’t here. I think for everyone in my generation, we’re re-evaluating what the late twenties and early thirties means to us. I know a lot of little girls thought thirty – so far away when you’re eight or nine – would look something like the Barbie Dreamhouse (I’m still hope-chest collecting for my future pink kitchen, but I digress). For me, my late twenties still looks shockingly pink, but with a few notable exceptions. I still live at home, like a lot of my contemporaries. After a few hard years trapped in my own princess-tower of chronic illness and kidney failure, I’m suddenly experiencing the door thrown open. At twenty-seven, I finally feel like I’m being told to fly. Cautiously, maybe, but fly all the same. 

With that in mind, I feel like a few years of my life are missing. It’s hard to believe I’ve stacked up to twenty-seven when really, I still feel about fifteen inside. That’s probably why even at this age, my birthday still makes me think about Sailor Moon.

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Sailor Moon and I have shared a birthday since her inception by Naoko Takeuchi. She’s the same astrological symbol as me: a Cancer-crab born under the ruling planet of the Moon. She’s always been a heroine whose key point is her relate-able immaturity. When confronted with worry, she’d rather snack; when she comes across something sad or feels overwhelmed, she cries. Her fellow Sailor Scouts are often frustrated with her innocence and want her to buck up and buckle down. She’s a hero, but at the same time, she’s also an ordinary girl who somehow rises to extraordinary circumstances. It’s not that she is a hero in spite of her insecurities and weaknesses; she’s a hero because of them. Her emotions are what make her strong. Those weepy, watery, sensitive moon-feelings that often threaten to overtake her are also her strongest gift.

In a recent article, TIME magazine spoke about the millenial concept of ‘adulting’. They blame the millenials’ trouble with adulting on a lack of home-economic classes, which have led us to post pretty pathetic tweets about burning spaghetti or making your own doctor’s appointments. (I guess cooking classes and phone courtesy skills are no longer in vogue?) On the other hand, the public’s fascination with coloring books, superheroes and reclaiming the nostalgia of childhood is at an all-time high. We’re drinking Ecto-Coolers in the summer heat and prepping for a new generation of Pokemon with consoles jerry-rigged from our smartphones.

As I get older, I’m piecing together the precious things from my childhood that are worth keeping side by side with my skills in “adulting”. There is value in a certain kind of innocence. Lolita fashion in particular has always been about valuing that innocence, an interpretation of the word that doesn’t mean ‘stupid’ or ‘inexperienced’ or ‘naive’ but connotates having seen it all and still chosing to remain unbroken. It’s about appreciating the things that make innocence resilient, and the wisdom of keeping traits that adulthood might be quick to throw away. Maybe we all have a little Peter Pan complex, even as we get inevitably older.

I have no idea what aging will entail until I get to the other side of it. My grandmother always said, “Don’t get old, Vicky”, at the staggering age of ninety-nine. I suppose she would know exactly what aging entails. But I also know that as long as I keep cherishing the parts of myself forged in youth that made me strong – the resilience, the faith, and the spirit – that I can be okay with my added years. Like Sailor Moon, hero of my seven-year-old self, I can still rise to the occasion with my innocence as my greatest strength.

Happy Birthday to Me!

I had a wonderful birthday this past weekend with my friends in New York City and it feels like it just keeps giving – after a day of shopping and lunch at our favorite restaurant, we had a little adventure at South St. Seaport, and then returning to Connecticut got attention from my family and boyfriend, then spent Tuesday at my favorite beachside village! It’s been a week already of go-go-go and doesn’t seem like it’s ever ending, but I’m loving every bit of it.

My dear Dalin (make sure you check out her new website, Magic a La Mode!) and I went into New York City Friday night to make sure we’d have no morning-of-stress like traffic or catching trains, and it really was the best plan. Instead we had plenty of time to enjoy breakfast at our favorite spot, a Belgian restaurant that prides itself on fresh, crisp waffles and huge bowl-like mugs of hot chocolate.

Even in the morning, though, the streets and subway quickly became sweat-dripping-sticky hot! I’m glad I got a few shots in before my makeup melted off…!  I’m so glad Dalin took this one of me, it’s my new favorite since I’m in my rose-lavender Purple Plum wig. Here’s the rest of my outfit!

The salopette doesn’t require a petticoat so it was pretty comfortable, and I’m really happy with how the DIY parts of my outfit came out – I made the violet glitter lolita shoes and dyed an old favorite Angelic Pretty blouse lavender. I also stole a print shot next to this awesome pink Vespa – which I would definitely want if I ever moved to New York City! It weaves in and out of traffic, easy to park… And of course it’s just the right shade of pink to match all my outfits!

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Philosophy on Birthdays… and the new site revealed!

Today is a very special day! First of all, today is my 22nd birthday! 22… I am officially finished with ‘landmark’ birthdays until I turn 40. What a depressing thought! No more Sweet 16s, majority-reaching 18s, or dying to turn 21. When you’re a child, just being a year older is reason enough to celebrate – ‘I’m 7 now, I can stay up till 8!’ or ‘You promised me my own pony at 10!’ (mom&dad: uhhhh…).

Now that I’m getting into the age where birthdays are ‘another year older’, I’ve decided to defy the usual wet blanket attitude. Samantha from Sex and the City has been ‘holding’ 35 since as long as her friends can remember, and we’ve all read the Japanese street snap bios from girls who are ‘eternally 17’. My new policy is to celebrate every birthday with a big bang! (I mean that literally. In my family it’s not a real holiday until something gets set on fire.)

So my philosophy on birthdays: celebrate big. You survived another tough and rough year on this earth! If no one wants to throw you a party, throw yourself one! Invite your friends out, or just take yourself out! Go to a swanky restaurant and order every dessert on the menu.  Take the plunge and kiss your crush over a flaming birthday cake (wearing highly flammable pink taffeta). Or just prescribe yourself a rich diet of mani-pedis and every single 80s’ teenage movie ever made.

This year my mother tried to throw me a surprise party, but like me, she can’t keep secrets for more than a few minutes at most! We had a lovely garden party with pink paper lanterns & a red velvet cupcake tree. My growing family and wonderful friends were all in attendance! I’m really thankful for all of them ♥

My other big announcement is that I am officially opening up the new site incarnation of Lolita Charm! Hopefully if my blogging-fu has all worked according to plan, you’ve already been redirected to the new site, parfaitdoll.com. Kudos to you few readers who have been secretly reading it already!

All of my Google FriendConnect subscribers have been transferred and there is still the Google member gallery for you to join/use if that’s your preferred method of subscription. Bloglovin members can’t be transferred, so please use the new Bloglovin widget on the site to follow Parfait Doll. Click the pink RSS feed button (next to the lilac Twitter button) to follow with Feedburner, or your personal reader.

You can read more about the new site in the FAQ. In order to flesh it out an in celebration of the new site, I am taking open Q & A! Any lolita question, fashion question, hair question, site question, tech, blogging, or simply curiosities will be answered in a large FAQ post and added to the permanent FAQ page.

Just use the contact form – I will no longer be accepting emails at lolita.charm@gmail.com. I’m going on a short trip out of state until Monday, so I’ll answer all questions then. Please drop me a line if you find anything on the site that doesn’t work for you!

Princess’ Pink 21st Jubilee!

Yesterday was my 21st birthday! It was mostly low-key, meaning my boy took me shopping & we finished with a small cake (above, from Bolo) and 21 pink-lipped roses at home ♥ On Saturday as more birthday celebration however, I’ll be going to shop in New York City with Dalin of La Vida Frills & Miss Lumpy!

And my favorite birthday present from my boy – this giant Hello Kitty pillow/plushie! So soft and has her pretty sleepy eyelashes. I call her Sleepy Kitty and she is just perfect for snuggling.

In America, 21 is a milestone because you can now legally buy alcohol in shops and restaurants and bars, as well as be admitted to clubs where alcohol is present. I’m really interested in the art of bartending, especially the kind involving flaming drinks, dessert liquors, and rims of glasses frosted with sugar. I’m a Cancer on the western zodiac, which means I should be good at cooking and creating – but instead my gift manifests through mixed drinks. So here are two cute ones to enjoy, including the one I drank at my party.

(note: please do not imbibe if you are below the legal age of your country, I’m not encouraging you to get trashed, stay classy, etc.)

(left, Birthday Cake Martini; right, local berry wine)

Birthday Cake Martini
You’ll need a martini shaker for this one! If you don’t have a martini shaker, you can use two glasses, one with ice and one without, by transferring it back and forth. Make sure to strain the ice so that it’s not in your drink, where it will melt and water down the flavor.

-two parts pineapple juice
-one part vanilla vodka
-three parts amaretto
-maraschino cherry

Pour ingredients over ice in your shaker, shake, then pour into martini glass. I pre-coated my glass with pink sugar to pep up the biscuit color of the martini. You can also float some sprinkles on the drink for extra festivity.

How to Rim a Glass with Sugar

There are two ways to rim a glass. The first is to take a lemon wedge and run it around the edge of the glass, then tap the glass into a dish of sugar. The other is to tap the glass onto a sponge with water – useful is you don’t want a lemon flavor on your drink. There are also ‘rimming kits’ which are two parts, a sponge dish for the water or juice and a flat dish for pouring your salt or sugar.

Cotton Candy Cosmo

-1 1/2 ounces SKYY vodka
-1/2 ounces X-Rated Fusion liquor
-1 ounce cranberry juice
-cotton candy (check drugstores or candy stores, as it’s usually a fair/carnival find – sometimes they sell bags or tubs at CVS)

Shake ingredients in your martini shaker over ice. Put a puff of cotton candy in a martini glass and pour the drink over. The cotton candy will melt into this pretty pink sugary syrup and add a huge sweet-tooth to this drink.

For those not into mixed drinks, look for pretty wines instead. A light Riesling (white and delicate) or a rosé (pink!) or something sparkling are all good options for summertime and adorable dinner parties and picnics. Bonus points for cute stemwear or cocktail glasses, especially vintage crystal or cut glass – try looking at yard sales. I’m especially fond of 1920s depression era glass, which comes in an array of jewel-like colors with ornate designs. (Take a look at some history on American Depression glass – it was usually given away at movie theatres and gas stations, making it a cute keepsake from Grandma and Grandpa’s first date, for example.)

For the more daring drink connoisseurs, and if you’re feeling adventurous and science-y – and can get your hands on some liquid nitrogen – you can have this Alice in Wonderland inspired cocktail, Nitro Caipirinha.

As always, remember to be careful and drink up!

And, fun fact! I just learned today that Sailor Moon and I share our birthday, June 30th! That’s appropriate since being a Cancer, my ruling planet is the moon ☆ミ And like Usagi I’m also a little scatter-brained and… well, easily dramatic! ;P

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