holiday

Practical Magic

There is magic here, in the woods. The settlers thought it was the Devil, but there is nothing darker than humans can imagine. Though that may be very dark indeed. For those who know, who dare, who will, and who would be silent, you can hear the many voices of the trees.

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This photoshoot features a few things near to my heart – one, the autumn leaves and New England landscape I grew up in, marked still by the rumors of witchcraft and spirits since its early colonial days – and two, my own folk magic heritage. This broom was actually my very first broom as a little beginner witch, over ten years ago now. I remember placing it on the front porch Halloween night and asking it to make friends with the local sprites and goblins, or symbolically sweeping casting glitter from my circles. It has been my stalwart companion beside the firestones ever since.

Thank you to Xin Pan, my wonderful photographer who happened to be traveling through my hometown on his way back to Brooklyn. His ability to play with the light and colors of a perfect fall morning is certainly a magic of its own.

Have a magical Halloween this year!

 

Outfit of the Day: Easter Bunday

Sweet lolita has its moments of pure cotton-candy-land fairytale – the bright, loud looks that just inspire sugary daydreams. This dress, Angelic Pretty’s Happy Garden print, is one of the latter – a strawberry lemonade pink sky showing a field of rainbow Easter bunnies in bright green clover. It’s perfect if you’re planning on hanging out with your local mall Easter bunny. I paired mine with a mint spiral wig and some tall pink bunny ears. I love the opportunity to go all-out with full on fantasy style coordinates.  resize1

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Blouse, badge: Kokokim; Jumperskirt, rabbit head pass case: Angelic Pretty; socks, shoes, bow: offbrand

I’ve been wearing these heart-strap shoes for a while now and love how delicate and dainty they look, but I also love that they are so comfortable! Lolita shoes can really be a struggle depending on your foot needs and the style you want – I prefer something a little less bubble-toed than the average style. These would be another great addition to my collection!

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For me, no outfit shot seems to be complete without a tasty food review! Hey, sweet lolitas gotta sweet, right? The Flour Garden Bakery in Connecticut had an amazing display of beautiful traditional Easter sweets, everything from cupcakes to sugar cookies and Easter egg cakes. I got a platter of assorted cookies to take to my family’s holiday dinner, and a little treat for the photographer and myself – mini caramel cheesecake and buttercream bunny cupcakes.

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That pink sugar bunny and malted pearl totally got to my heart! What’s your favorite springtime dessert? I am so sad I missed the cherry blossom frappuccino at Starbucks – anyone got a copycat recipe?

 

Happy Galentine’s, You Noble Land Mermaids

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After Halloween, I’d have to say my next top holiday is Valentine’s Day. Whether single, attached, or otherwise engaged, how can you not be on board about a holiday with hearts, chocolate, and the worship of pink? This is actually the first year I’ll be in a real, honest-to-goodness relationship and for me it feels like I am waiting on Christmas! I’m so excited to share my lovey-dovey feelings with everyone around me. I just have a lot of feelings, you guys.

I got the chance to kick off V-Day season a little early when I was invited to my friend’s lovely Galentine’s meetup at Rose House in Flushing, Queens. Flushing is a NYC borough known for its strong Korean and Chinese presence, so cute things like this sweet teahouse abound. An easy trip on the 7 subway can suddenly drop you in a mini-Asia of Rilakkuma stationary and milk tea. (Anyone interested in the kawaii lover’s guide to Flushing? Let me know!) Rose House, a Chinese interpretation of an afternoon tea that look straight out of your favorite drama, is a beautiful restaurant themed with red roses and plush couches. Tea looked something like this:

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After everyone had had their fill of way too much sugar, we played a little Victorianesque party game. Each girl had brought a flower, and we all tried to guess their names and meanings in Victorian flower language. Back in the Victorian period, every bouquet could be endowed with secret meanings – think Snapchat gone horticulture.

The food was stunning as usual. There was a selection of fat Belgian waffles, both sweet and savory; hot and iced teas all featuring rose petals; and crisp croissants with meat filling. The menus alone were overwhelmingly works of art. If you’re ever in the area, I definitely recommend them for a simple teatime or lunch.

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Here’s a few of my favorite fashion shots from the tea! I love to see how everyone interpreted the theme (Valentine’s roses) differently – whether that was around dark red roses or soft pink blossoms. Thanks everyone for coming out, and thank you to Crystal for hosting such a lovely girls’ day out!

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2015 Fashion Folio

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top photo by Nina Lin Photography

It’s New Year’s Eve Eve as I write this. I can’t believe that 2015 is suddenly winding to a close, or, more astonishingly, that I survived it. The highlights and lowlights of this year are stark, and my Instagram especially feels like a living document of where I’ve been and how my life has changed. With 2016 dawning soon, I decided a round-up of my favorite fashion moments was in order. This year, in 2015, I killed it in these favorites:

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Spring Lolita Day for me is always about showing my most fantastic lolita self. For me, choosing to illustrate that over-the-top sweet lolita is not dead, I chose to layer on as many pastels as I possibly could, wearing Angelic Pretty’s lavender Sugar Hearts. The handmade headdress I designed out of pink and lavender crystal.

My most daring piece was bought at Rufflecon. They’re cat ears that are made to look and smell like sugar cookies or vanilla cake. And when KAI and BABI of Triple Fortune say you look cute, you know they’re not fronting! I also finally got one of my dream dresses this year – Milky Planet in pink! It just has always been the iconic sweet style dress for me. Maybe this was the year of the ears for me? These bear ears were a perk from my job as a Rilakkuma girl.

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I also had some amazing growth in my lolita life this past year. It was pretty hard to narrow down my favorite three moments, but these were it.

Print media and I were pretty friendly this year – along with the Village Voice cover, I also hit the pages of the New York Daily News and MyM UK magazine. I will never get over seeing my face in New York City newspaper dispensers!

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I starred in the Simplicity fashion show at Rufflecon in their orange creme Rococo inspired dress, which was so different and striking than what I usually wear. Make sure to see their very cool behind the scenes video that talks about the outfits’ inspiration! The sweet bird-themed dress I wore for Pink Up! in the same show was also a dream, so comfy! And on Halloween, I walked a fashion show at a charity ball with one of my OG designers, I Do Declare.

I was blessed to have a wonderful birthday party this year. Dressing up in my absolute dolliest and then having a sweet celebration in a Connecticut French rose garden felt more like fairytale than real life. Friends were paramount to my fashion evolution and my personal evolution. I even tried yukata with my friends for the first time at a Japanese summer festival!

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In 2016, I’m going to set some fresh fashion and blogging goals!

I’ve loved showcasing my daily style more on Instagram (hint… getting a willing photographer boyfriend has been better for my outfit shots than any remote or tripod… yes, he’s basically an Instagram husband) but also show my readers some of my art! For years I’ve kept my watercolors, drawings and doodles to myself. Taking quick snapshots has really encouraged me to keep growing my skills. My Instagram has been a great platform for me to test different microblogging topics.

I’m also hoping to start blogging about a new passion of mine – cute cooking! I’ve started trying to copy my favorite foods at home with fresh ingredients, based on the cultures I’m surrounded by in my fashion – mostly Korean and Japanese. I can’t wait to show you tasty treats and adorable meals into the new year!

What are your new year goals and favorite moments from this past year? Full steam ahead towards cute fashion, food and the future!

 

How to Be Alone on Valentine’s Day

valentine'sheaderI have no plans this Valentine’s Day. Zip. Still in recovery, single, and unwilling to pick out a bargain basement date from the pools of online dating, I did a little online research about what to do as a single girl on Valentine’s Day. Most of the ideas summed up as ‘get drunk with your other female friends, decrying the evils of the Hallmark companies and throw yourself an anti-Valentine’s Day party’. Singles’ Awareness Day, as it was dubbed, seemed to be growing bitterly stronger than even the designer dark chocolate rack.

But here’s the thing – I don’t want to hate you, Valentine’s Day. For me, Valentine’s Day is glitter and pink and school-age mass-produced Disney cards, doilies and cupcakes with heart-shaped sprinkles. It is cheesy stuffed animals and conversation hearts and the appreciating the friends and family you already have who love you. By trial and error, what I’ve learned is that if you want to enjoy your Valentine’s Day, don’t expect anyone else to magically read your mind. Design your own day, or plan something you can do for others. You do not need any girlfriends’ parties, sort-of balding dudes at sticky bars, or questionable blind dates. Here are ten ways to spend Valentine’s Day alone, just you. ♥

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1. Eat heart-shaped food. Food is always better heart-shaped. Even if you’re cooking for one, celebrate the day with heart-shaped avocado, carrots, eggs and more. Search Pinterest for tons more ideas on foods that you can shape like hearts. Cute food is a great pick-me-up any time of year! This guy has made a beautiful Valentine from something more unusual – meatloaf and creamy mashed potatoes. 

2. Playlist a series of Valentine’s-themed episodes of your favorite TV series. Last night I went with Orange is the New Black’s ‘And You Also Have a Pizza‘. Because in love, at the end of the day, you should at least have pizza. (And yes I ate leftover pizza topped with avocado while I watched it. There’s nothing like dedication to a theme.)

3. Host your own pajama party. Valentine’s Day is on a Saturday this year, so buy yourself some fancy and fluffy pajamas the day before and spend the day in them snuggled up in soft covers. This pairs well with idea #2 and for us New Englanders at least, the impending snowstorm. Check Forever21 for some adorable pajama selections right now!

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4. Make Valentine’s cards. Whether they’re for your gals or just people you’d like to appreciate right now, everybody likes getting mail. I used some pink twine and washi tape to string mine across the mantle piece. If you prefer, you can also spend V-Day posting dozens of artfully curated digital Valentine’s on your friends’ Facebook walls, too. Galentine’s Today (today!) is another great choice for showering your friends in social media love notes about how they are more beautiful than Cinderella, they smell like pine needles and their face is like sunshine.

5. Buy a box of classic little-kids’ branded Valentines like Disney or Barbie. Write encouraging notes or positive sentiments on them and hide them around your work, campus or daily life for other people to find. Consider them the hot-pink fortune cookies of Valentine’s Day. What stranger wouldn’t want a sweet note tucked into the seat of a bus or in the napkin holder at a restaurant?

6. Treat yo self. This is pretty obvious – buy yourself something off your Amazon wishlist or some other small token. Roses are lovely choice, or a small potted plant. I also like to pick up anything fluffy, like socks or a throw blanket, when I’m in need of a cuddle.

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7. If you’re going to eat chocolate, eat CHOCOLATE. No Hershey’s or Nestle for you this year. Indulge in some real designer, high cocoa content goodness. I like Vosge’s chocolates particularly, or a local favorite, Fascia’s Chocolates, but there’s plenty others to shop. Spending a little more on a smaller selection of chocolates (that you don’t have to share, perk!) with bits of pink sea salt and unicorn tears ups the occasion from ‘sad girl eating chocolate’ to ‘sassy girl celebrates holiday’. On the same note, pairing with an exceptionally nice wine or cheese sounds like a scrumptious idea as well.

8. Take yourself to dinner. This one can be a bit of a challenge if you’re not used to it, an idea I got from reading the SARK Succulent Wild Woman books. Get all dressed up and take yourself on a “me-date”. The two things you can be sure of in this scenario is you won’t get stood up and someone else will most likely prepare you a brownie sundae. What could go wrong?

9. Bring goodies into your work or school. Wherever you go every day with people, bring in some surprise brownies or cupcakes. Whether you choose to make them your famous chocolate-chip-amaze cookies or just swing by the corner Dunkin’ for a box of gooey pink and red donuts, you’ll perk up the day and give others a little joy.

10. Get a Valentine’s Day manicure or fresh hair cut. There’s nothing like a little spa day to perk up your routine. A fresh manicure or pedicure, hair cut or color, or even just picking up a new Lush bath bomb or body wash is perfect.

You don’t need to break out the mourning veil and spread stormy rain clouds even if you’re not part of a couple this Valentine’s Day! Even if you’re alone on Valentine’s Day, there are small joys you can find to celebrate this all-about-love holiday. What are your Valentine’s Day plans?

 

Angel Wings

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As Halloween approaches, masquerade balls and other costumed events become more popular. Themed meetups and themed coordinates invite lolitas to become more fanciful with their wardrobes, transforming their dresses from standard wear to something more fantastical. In the past I’ve used my lolita closet to put together black cats and unicorns, mermaids and princesses. I’ve even made a list – over 100 ideas of lolita Halloween coordinates!

This year, I decided to spotlight some fashion inspiration – here’s four cute looks put together with the addition of only one prop – a pair of white feather angel wings that you could buy at any party store.  If you have something more custom in mind, you could try this DIY tutorial. Pair them with something you already own – a onepiece, or maybe a vintage peignoir? – a pearly makeup look, and some celestial accessories to create a sweet angel style.

 

Valentine’s Day Round-Up

A bit late, but here’s the round-up of photos from my Valentine’s Day! Unfortunately our big lolita meetup in honor of the pink holiday got snowed out (AGAIN), so these are the simple shots I took of my quiet holiday with my boyfriend. Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite holidays, not only because I love the decorations, but the food! Heart-shaped pancakes, candy hearts, chocolate hearts, anything heart-shaped is perfect to celebrate with.

What did you do for Valentine’s Day? (And yes, forever-alone answers count too! This is a judgement-free zone even if you did spend Singles’ Awareness Day on Tumblr.)

Can I Wear Lolita On Halloween?

(Hey! Pssst! This a pretty old post – we’ve written a more modern rebuttal! Make sure you check out the new article, too!)

Lolita and Halloween – do they go together? Are you thinking about dressing up as a lolita for Halloween this year? Is wearing lolita on Halloween a big fashion don’t?

As lolitas, one of the most common catcalls we’ll get is – “Hey, it’s not Halloween!” Most people on the street equate lolita with some kind of crazy costume, or like we’ve seen too many Nicki Minaj or Lady Gaga music videos. It gets particularly rough around this time of year – people assume we just haven’t seen a calendar and are three weeks too early or too late. Yes, dear strangers, because I clearly don’t know what day it is.

The short answer: No, you can’t wear lolita on Halloween.

The long answer: Yes, you can wear lolita on Halloween. You just can’t wear everyday lolita fashion as a costume. 

So, what constitutes as a huge lolita – and fashion – Halloween don’t? Be warned… if you have young children or pets, it’s time to put them to bed, it’s gonna get pretty scary around here…

Don’t Wear Lolita As A Costume… If You’re Not A Lolita

If you’re not usually a lolita but looking to dress up in the clothes for one day as a ‘costume’, don’t wear lolita for Halloween. Especially don’t wear anything sold at a Halloween store marked ‘lolita’ for Halloween. See those unfortunate souls in this photo? They’re wearing “Harajuku lolita gothic geisha” costumes, or something. Don’t let this happen to you! Why? Lolita is a fashion style, not a costume, and one hard to get right. Whatever costume pieces you can throw together to make a ‘lolita costume’ aren’t going to look so hot.

Recently on Tumblr there’s been a lot of discussion about racist Halloween costumes. Let me be the first one to say: dressing as a faux lolita for Halloween is not racist. Some girls on Tumblr think lolitas are being oppressed with trashy imitation lolita or “Harajuku Girl” costumes. Lolitas are a fashion subculture not accepted by the mainstream, but we’re hardly oppressed by systematic racism like cheap “geisha” or “random Indian” costumes. Is it going to look tacky if you pick out a would-be lolita Halloween costume at your local big box? Yes. Is it oppressing us ladies who don the frills for the rest of the year? No.

Now, that all being said, what if you do like one of those costumes labeled lolita? If you want to wear it, go right ahead. There is no real fashion police (well, except for the Petticoat Police ;) and you’re not going to get arrested if you decide that’s the look you want. Just know that other lolitas could be turned off by your outfit – but hey, girl, if you want to rock it, rock it with confidence.

witch/trick necklaces from StarlightDecoDream | everything else pictured, Angelic Pretty

If You Already Have a Lolita Wardrobe…

It’s easy to pull together a simple ‘themed’ coordinate to make a cute costume out of your typical lolita clothes. Check out my previous articles, 50 Easy Halloween Costumes for Lolitas and 50 More Easy Halloween Costumes for Lolitas, for 100 from-my-lolita-closet costume ideas. In the past, the themed coordinates I’ve pulled together for Halloween have been a bunny rabbit, Red Riding Hood, a unicorn, and a pre-ballgown Cinderella, all wearing my own clothes. If you still want more, here’s a group of themed lolita coordinates on Polyvore, where girls have designed lolita outfits to dress as Kirby, Mario, and two pretty pink and lavender witch coordinates.

If you’re not feeling a costume but just want to be in the spooky spirit, your other option is to go creepy-cute or just Halloween themed.  ‘Creepy cute’ is the new favorite theme of lolitas who adore lolita and a fair amount of gore and spook, like pastel bone hands for hairclips and giant eyeballs on ribbons. Check the ‘creepy cute’ tag on Tumblr for inspiration. You can also check out my article last year on Spooky Cute!

Crazy Spork Am I | Ellejay of Sherry & Cookies

If You Want To DIY…

You have a great chance to make an adorable Halloween-themed lolita coordinate or dress if you possess wicked sewing skills. Shown above, Crazy Spork Am I shows off her amazing handmade witchy lolita coordinate. On the right is my friend Ellejay wearing a dress made by Ayu, which is made out of cemetary Halloween material.

An easy Halloween DIY is to decorate a mini-witch hat that can easily be found at Halloween stores. I bought this one on sale for only $5 last year after Halloween, then tore off the original bow to add my own with lace and crystals for a good-witch look. Pair it with your favorite black dress to turn your ordinary coordinate into a cute Halloween witch style. I’m also loving this candy-corn jewelry tutorial!

What do you plan on wearing this Halloween? Have you got a themed coordinate decided, or are you just feeling that Halloween vibe in general? I’m hoping to go to a club in New York City themed as a Gothic ball, but I’m not sure whether to be cute or elegant!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

This Valentine’s Day my friends and I decided to have a girls-only tea party at a favorite New York City lolita haunt – Alice’s Teacup. Alice’s Teacup is restaurant themed entirely with Alice in Wonderland, fairies, glitter, and tea. And I mean tea – every food item on the menu, from cocktails to desserts and sandwiches – are made or infused with tea flavors. We had hot scones and drank black tea flavored with strawberry, raspberry, and roses!

Below are a few photos from the event! Pictured: myself, Crystal, Bii, Dalin, and Lauren. There were nine of us total (and many more pictures) but I don’t want to photo overload!

Also, finally a photo of my new iPhone in its pink Hello Kitty case!

After all my planning to wear a conversation-heart-and-unicorn coordinate, my new dress didn’t come in time! So at the last minute I had to improvise a little! Trying really hard to get better outfit shots since everyone has been asking for them!

I’m really pleased with my new wig. Crystal and I are both wearing Gothic Lolita Wigs, which really makes soft and beautiful, affordable lolita wigs. I was feeling too lazy to trim the bangs the evening before, so I styled the bangs into a vintage ice-cream swirl with some gel and a lot of hairspray!

This color was very unique and the style is very wearable as there’s no heavy ponytail clips. I’ll probably wear this wig with Aqua Princess as well for a mermaid look as well!

I also tried some new makeup tutorials, mostly mashing a few eye makeup tutorials together for a very big-eye, super-lashy eye. I was going for the downturned puppy-dog look but I think it needs a little more work. I’m actually wearing two sets of lashes in these photos!

 

I hope you all have a very lovely Valentine’s Day! I spent today packing up a pretty Valentine’s care-package for my lovely Ellejay – so much pink tissue paper and glitter under my nails! I hope she loves it ❤

 

Outfit Credits

Wig: Gothic Lolita Wigs

 Bows: handmade (the big lavender one); ‘text me’ from imyourpresent; pink chocolate clip from Icing Sugar; pearl clip from Chocomint

Dress: Baby the Stars Shine Bright

Cutsew: Angelic Pretty

Coat: Angelic Pretty

Shoes: Bodyline

Socks/tights: H&M Little Twin Star socks, mint lace tights Forever21

Wand: Disney store! (We all had to get these. Aren’t they gorgeous? Mine is for the princess Rapunzel!)

Mint waist bow: Metamorphose

Valentine’s Love: Sweethearts

[left to right, top to bottom: Milkfed, Drop Dead clothing (photo from daughterofhungryghosts); Twinkie-chan; Starlightdecodream; unknown; Angelic Pretty; unknown]

In anticipation of Valentine’s Day and the coordinate I have planned for a Valentine’s tea party with my friends, I’ve been working on a few DIY accessories! Now is the perfect time to get cute things from your craft store, like foam hearts, heart confetti, or conversation-heart anything. (I love conversation hearts! I mean, they taste like chalky old Tums, but they are pastel and say things and last forever, so they make great craft supplies.) Now is also a great time to check dollar stores for tacky Valentine’s items you can DIY and muck around with.

I found these very realistic clay beads from the Etsy shop ‘Treasures in Clay’ and used them to make interchangeable stud earrings with just a little glue and blank earring backs.

If you don’t mind temporary items, you can follow these instructions to make real candy heart rings and hair clips! If you’re feeling more ambitious, someone also had the great idea to make candy heart pillbox hats for Valentine’s!

My next mission is to copy these conversation heart nails I spotted from fabfatale.com! The words are stamped on with Konad stampers, and use an Essie ‘make-any-color-matte’ polish to give them the same finish as the real candy. Check out the post here, it’s really a great detailed tutorial. But even if you can’t get your hands on the image plates they use, pastel nails reminiscent of the candies would be just as sweet alone or with heart-shaped glitter nail polish.

My other DIY projects are more fairy-kei or fairy-lolita themed – I usually say fairy-loli, but someone on Tumblr said fairy-lita the other day which is just as cute a phrase!

I’d seen a few street snaps where girls had DIY’d sleep masks. They reminded me like fairy-kei or dolly-kei versions of the original lolita rectangular headdress. You can also see a dolly-kei or natural-kei example of a decorative sleep mask at Moss Garden – hers is actually a form made of cardboard!

I found the masks at Michael’s for a dollar apiece, and then covered it with vintage lavender unicorn sheets (that I have other projects planned for as well!). I chose the part of the fabric with the rainbow and clouds, and then added a pre-ruffled bit of ribbon around the edge and a few bows left over from other projects. Technically I suppose it could be a working eye mask or sleep mask as well, like for the plane, but it makes me look like some kind of kawaii kidnapping victim when I wear it, so doubtful that I’ll be donning it at the airport any time soon!

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