Friday, 17 March 2017

A Few Casual Coords 🐞

Hey everyone! It's been a little while since I did a more fashion-y post so I thought I would do an outfit update! I'm going to be sharing a few of my favourite recent lolita coordinates.

I've been having a lot more fun with fashion lately. I still wear lolita outfits here and there, but also experiment with vintage pieces, high street items, and lots of Lazy Oaf, which you'll see more of in another post. 

Before we get started, I would like everyone to note that I clean the soles of my shoes after every single time I wear them, and that is the reason I'm OK to snap outfit pictures indoors with shoes on! Just thought I'd put that out there as it's the sort of thing I wonder about when I see other people take pictures with shoes on indoors!

First up, a berry coordinate. I really love wearing lolita in a casual, retro way, so my cherry print skirt is perfect for this. I've noticed that I tend to feel very inspired to put together lolita coordinates whenever I'm going to the post office. No idea why. My cute outfits are very much wasted on the rude staff who have a thing about overcharging me on international postage... #smallbusinesswoes.
Hair bow: Sugar Trampoline
Collar: Sugar Trampoline
Velvet top: Primark
Skirt: Sugar Trampoline
Tote bag: Metamorphose
Shoes: Bodyline

This was an outtake of sorts but I quite like it somehow.

This next outfit was a little more experimental and not strictly lolita. I decided to incorporate some vintage knitwear. I wasn't sure if the houndstooth and the stripes would clash in a nice way, but I think the resultant coordinate had a cool, punk-ish edge to it that I'm really into!
Cardigan: vintage
Skirt: Chocolat-chan Going Out- Angelic Pretty
Shoes: Bodyline

I thought this detail shot came out looking really artistic, haha. 

As you can probably tell by this point, I've gotten really into monochrome with a splash of red, lately! I find the colour contrast to be quite delicious.
This was a post office outfit, too, and also served me well for taking me niece to nursery school. It was an unexpectedly warm and sunny day, and spring was most definitely in the air!
Hair bow: Sugar Trampoline
Cutsew: Pimkie
Wristcuffs: Bodyline
Jumperskirt: Serenade- Baby, the Stars Shine Bright
Bag: Baby, the Stars Shine Bright
Shoes: Bodyline

I didn't put any pink in my hair when I got it re-done, and I'm thinking I made a mistake there, as for some reason it always looked really good with red! My rationale was that I needed to look professional for my job-hunting/interviews, but now I'm thinking that if and when they do come along, I could easily change my hair the night before. Hm. In the meantime, my all-black hair matches everything!
I have so much love for this jumperskirt. It's probably the one I get most compliments on from strangers, which is kind of funny considering how simple it is! There's something so charming about old school lolita pieces, and my lolita style has very much matured with this aesthetic in mind. 

I hope you've enjoyed seeing how I've been wearing lolita lately! In my next outfit post I'll share how I've been coordinating my looks outside of lolita. 

To end this post, have you guys found yourselves gravitating towards specific colour combinations lately? Have certain pieces or styles that you've been wearing a lot lately? I'd love to know about your recent outfits! Thank you so much for looking and reading, and I'll see you next time 

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Planning for Positivity 📝

Hey everyone! We're already into March, and I can definitely feel spring in the air. I love in-between seasons, and this one is special to me because it's when daffodils are in full bloom. There is a feeling of "potential" vibrating within everything and it makes me feel incredibly pumped for the days to come. 

While life is unpredictable, I still like to feel as though I have something under control, and that's where my butterfly planner of goodness comes in. 

I really enjoy having an organiser. It helps me to keep track of the things I've done and the things I want to do, and ensures I don't forget anything. I know that some people are put off by the idea of paper planning for various reasons, one of them being that it's too much pressure. I personally don't see it that way, and am in a planning routine that means I feel cheerful when I've kept up with my goals, but don't feel like beating myself up when I don't.

I could never quite get behind the whole "bullet journal" thing that seems to be super popular now. I find it to be rather counter-intuitive and a bit of a faff, honestly, and it doesn't really suit the way my brain works. A more standard diary setup seems to be best for me. My equipment of choice is a personal planner from Paperchase. This is my third year using it and I absolutely adore it. It is still in great condition, and is better quality than I expected considering it's vastly cheaper than getting something from Filofax. I don't like the fact that it closes with a ribbon rather than a popper clasp, but I can deal with it, and it does look cuter, even if it's less convenient. The butterflies on the cover, including the extra dangly friend, make me so happy as I love anything butterfly-themed!

The inside cover has little slots, and the back cover has a flap. Neither of these get much use as my planner stays home, so I don't ever need to carry any extra pieces of paper in it. There are different sections, each split with a pretty card divider.

My set-up is really straightforward and more or less just sticks to the guidelines laid out by my Paperchase planner refill pages. Two sections are the main ones-- diary, and notes.

The diary is self explanatory. It has week-to-view pages, super useful for tracking appointments or deadlines. As well as noting those, I also make to-do lists for each day. If I don't get everything done that day, I try to do it another day. I tend to leave ticking off the boxes for the end of the week, and seeing if there's anything left over that I need to carry over to the following week. Sometimes, I'll forget to structure a day, which is often the case if I'm unwell. What I will do at the end of a day like this is think of all the things I ended up doing that day and jot them down, as a kind of retrospective checklist. Doing this has helped me so much mentally. I think it can be easy to completely forget or to invalidate the things we achieved for not being significant enough, when in reality, anything we get done is important. It's frustrating when we feel we didn't perform at our best, or didn't keep ourselves motivated. But being angry at ourselves helps no one, and it's much better to focus on what we did achieve, and do the best we can to do better next time. 

Lately I've taken to writing moments or quotes on a post-it note to remind myself of during the week. My quote for this past week has been from Laura Berman Fortgang's TED talk: "Career satisfaction doesn't come from what you do. It comes from who you get to be while you're doing it." It gave me a well-needed change of perspective on things, and I've found it useful to remember. 

I also like to write something cute and happy to be thankful for. This week I'm reminding myself of the people and the experiences that have already started to make, and will hopefully continue to make 2017 a much better year than the last.

The notes section is often a mess of hurriedly scrawled ideas and lists of things I need to remember to discuss with people, from important topics to silly in-jokes! I'm very much into lists as I find them to be a good way of processing my thoughts. Most of the list-making in my organiser tends to relate to my business/fashion design, blogging, YouTube ideas (I've still not given up on my channel, haha), and the more mundane things like keeping track of foods I like, as it's useful to have meal prompts, sometimes. I feel perhaps I've outgrown the organiser for my list-making and need something bigger than the personal size, whose pages are restrictive for visually exploring an idea. I have ended up using an exercise book dedicated solely to my lists but might have to upgrade even that and go for A4 size, as I like to treat different puzzles or questions about my career etc as projects to work through. Projects need space!

I realise my organiser isn't particuarly artistic. It's quite tempting to continuously Google people's organisers and lust over their artistic setups, photo-ready calligraphy, and carefully applied washi tape... and then take a look at your own organiser and wonder where you went wrong. The thing is, organisers mean different things to different people. If you don't feel naturally inclined to use your planner as a means of creative outlet, then don't. Equally, don't feel as though you're not allowed to enjoy decorating your planner. Do what works best for you.

As I go along with my organising, I do find that I'm gradually decorating things more. I used to write everything in pencil, and used a plain white refill pad. Then I moved onto this cute vintage themed paper. Then I started experimenting with different colours. Now the post-its. I think the more positive I feel about the future and where my life is going, the more enthusiasm I have about planning. It's become therapy in its own right and I love it.

I use a different colour for each day now, and I choose those colours based on how I think that day feels. It's one of those synaesthesia things that's a little difficult to articulate but essentially, different colours feel differently to me and use those colours to set a mood for a day!

I think I might have rambled on long enough about my planner now! I think it's evident that stationery is somewhat important to me! Do you keep a planner? Do you prefer to keep track of things digitally? Do you like making lists? Tell me of your life-organising habits!

Thank you so much for reading, and I'll see you lovely people next time 

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Fun Days in February 🌞

Hi everyone! I thought I'd chat to you guys about a couple of recent social outings I've had. The title is a teensy bit inaccurate as one of said outings actually happened in late January, but that's all right! Well, let's get into it.

Last month, I got together with Maddie and had a really lovely day out in a very chilly Oxford. I ended up somehow getting the train times wrong despite looking everything up beforehand online, and found myself rushing to the train platform, only to find I had plenty of time, and didn't even need to take the long winded route I'd initially planned in order to arrive at the correct time. Oh well-- better to have time to spare, I suppose! 

Oxford is a city I find to be far too busy considering how small so many of the eateries are, but Maddie introduced me to a café where we were able to get a seat, order some food, a hot drink, and talk in the midst of the hustle and bustle around us. I'd not had a proper catch up with her in so long, so it was great to talk in depth about life, our interests, things we've done, things we want to do, and everything in between. I went for scones with jam and cream, and some Earl Grey-- the perfect companion to a confab. The cream to jam ratio was incredibly odd, though (I got plenty of cream but only a dab of jam in a tiny packet), and I wasn't offered any milk for my tea. It's a good thing I like tea with or without milk!

After a while we decided to go for a little wander, visiting a cute sewing shop where we were complimented on our lolita coats, and into the covered market which I don't think I've ever been to before. Back on the street, I couldn't help finding the masks in the party shop hilarious, particularly due to the fact the Dumbledore one came with its own little spectacles. I was also very tickled by Voldemort's teeth.


We rounded off the day in the warmth of a Costa, drinking hot drinks to warm ourselves up from the cold, before heading back to the train station. 
It was a very relaxed, peaceful day out, and I am so glad I got to know Maddie better. Passing conversations at meets or events definitely aren't a patch on sitting down with someone one on one and sharing different aspects of yourselves. I am really looking forward to seeing her again soon, and watching where her artwork and creativity will take her. 

🌞     ðŸŒž     ðŸŒž

Last weekend brought more festivities in the form of a day out to London with a few friends whom, once again, I'd not had a real catch up with in so long. The wonderful thing about old cycles ending is the way new ones begin. Hindsight is a powerful thing, and I've been able to fully process the extent to which I had been held back. After feeling unfulfilled socially for longer than I wanted to admit here, or even to myself given how isolated and trapped I had been made to feel, I'm so pleased I've been able to begin building a real network of friends. I'm really excited to be reconnecting with some lovely people, deepening friendships I hadn't had the chance to before, and having more fun than I've had in ages.

Some bad luck
The day started out pretty terribly. I had issues driving down the steep hill that leads to my local station and finally arrived with the sense that I'd probably earned myself a speeding ticket (reviewing my dash cam footage later revealed it seemed unlikely, but I was too busy panicking about other things like being late to think rationally at the time!) I took too long parking and the parking payment machine was aggravatingly slow to process my card. I was just paying for my train ticket when the train I needed pulled up at the platform... on the other side of the bridge. I began running up the stairs and at the top step, my boot got caught and time seemed to go into slow motion. I saw my ticket sailing through the air, my keys springing from my unzipped AP bag, and I watched as I came crashing towards the gravelly ground. I stuck my right hand out, and my body twisted to the right. Most of the impact was caught by my right thigh and my middle finger.

Shaking, I scrambled to pick up my things, taking a split second to marvel about the fact neither my bag or Baby coat were damaged, and continued to run across the bridge, figuring it would all be in vain. As I hobbled down the stairs, the train conductor seemed to be stalling even though the train doors had shut already. "You getting this train?" he called to me. "Yes, please!" I said, and he unlocked the doors for me. Not quite believing my luck, I yelled out a thank you, and clambered on, before collapsing into the nearest seat available, and feeling so grateful that the conductor had been kind enough to wait for me to reappear on the other side of the bridge to make sure I wasn't about to miss the train I wanted. 

When I got to my connecting station a few minutes later, I hesitated on the platform. Maybe I should simply stay on the slow, stopping service, especially as the fast train would likely to be very full and wouldn't have seats available. I got back on my train and patiently sat through a long winded journey, googling to see if my numb middle finger was something to worry about. It wasn't, various websites assured me, and the feeling gradually came back into it over the course of an hour.

By the time I made it to London, I was running late to meet my friends. The circle line wasn't running to the station I needed, so I had to do a bit more long-winded travel. For all intents and purposes, I should have had a very easy journey that day but sometimes, things decide to work against you!

The good bit
Despite all these setbacks, like having an awkward limp all day, and spending the following day in bed to recover from the injury, I was so glad I went on this day out. I met my friends, Emmy, Sabeela, and Taylor, at King's Cross, before heading off to Bibimbap for some food. I'd never been there before and hadn't had much in the way of Korean food yet, so it was an interesting experience for me. I ordered tofu bibimbap, and when it came, I stirred it as instructed by Emmy so that the heated bowl it was served in could distribute the warmth to everything evenly. 
The tofu was cooked to perfection and the vegetables were delicious! I've often had really disappointing vegetarian meals in western style food places like pubs, so this was a wonderful change of pace, and I really enjoyed my food! The prices were also really good for London, and I'd definitely visit again.

Having a good old chat with everyone was so lovely. We'd been part of a lolita community together that sort of disbanded due to people leaving lolita or simply never coming to another meet. We ended up staying in touch, and have now vowed to meet up amongst ourselves as regularly as we can manage even though two of our group have moved to different areas. We reminisced about past meets and strange experiences we'd had in the lolita community, as well as updating one another on our work lives, love lives, and whatever else was new since we'd last talked. Chatting to them about even personal things felt natural and easy. It was really nice feeling so comfortable and un-judged.

After lunch, we headed to Japan Centre, where I thought it would be nice to get some matcha chocolate. I picked up a couple boxes of biscuits that looked promising, but were to turn out to be absolutely ghastly! I should have kept it simple and got some Pocky and melonpan instead!

Taylor, despite the fact it was literally snowing, decided to get matcha ice cream from a stall outside. It admittedly looked heavenly but it was way too chilly for me to indulge! Perhaps in warmer weather I'll give it a go! The colour looked gorgeous and she confirmed that the texture was perfect. 

We warmed up in a café for a little while, then had a look around Primark. Emmy walked past some band t-shirts and commented on how cringey it was the way these bands had essentially become brand names... before doubling back and buying two of them herself! I love it when people can poke fun at themselves! After checking out, we headed back to a tube station so we could begin to make our way home.

I loved how we all came wearing a different style! Sabeela looked super classy in her fluffy coat, Taylor went for a casual goth look, and Emmy went for a comfy alt outfit.

I suppose the feeling I have right now is gratitude. I'd gotten to a point where I was so afraid of trying to reconnect with certain people due to low self esteem,  and convincing myself I would seem strange... and yet so many people have welcomed me with open arms when I asked if they wanted to hang out, and I am overwhelmed by the love and support they have shown me. Yeah, not everything in my life is where I want it to be, but I feel so much better for having had a ton of fun, interesting conversations with some amazing people, and knowing that I'm finally in the place I needed to be to allow this positivity into my life. I've been kicking my anxiety in the arse and it makes me want to do a happy dance. I've got more days out to look forward to in the near future, and for now at least, things are good.

Had any fun days out recently? Ever gone through a process of rebuilding your social life? Do you like Korean food? How about matcha products? I'd love to hear all about you guys in the comments! Thanks for reading and I'll see you next time 

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

My Wardrobe 2017

Hey everyone!

I really left things until the last minute here, but it wasn't really until the last minute that I realised I did want to do a wardrobe post after all! I've been completely out of the livejournal loop (not that I've missed a whole lot. January is the only time it's truly active on egl, after all!) and am going to set aside some time to look at other people's wardrobes, write some comments, and generally soak up those happy, pretty clothes vibes.

My wardrobe went through minimal changes this past year, outside of the addition of more accessories, a handmade main piece and my dream dress acquisition!

I feel a sense of completion, in that I have no dream or holy grail items left to chase. There used to be more I really wanted but over time I lost interest or become apathetic towards them. I never really worked that hard to get my dream dress, which is why it took so long. I think deep down, I liked always having something left to want, and now that the quest is over in that respect, it's bittersweet. Still... I occasionally come across pieces I do like and would enjoy owning, so I'd like to think I'm not at the end of the road just yet.

Exploring other fashions has been good for me because even though I do have a decent number of main pieces, I don't have the sizable collection that some lolitas do, so naturally my pieces were getting worn in fairly heavy rotation during my daily lolita phases. I do like my lolita wardrobe but I was starting to get bored of wearing the same things all the time! Breaking up the cycle a bit has been nice, and it's stopped me from entangling my personality/identity with a particular style or subculture. I keep wanting to make a YouTube video about that-- about how one can eventually lose themselves in something that was supposed to help them find themselves, but I never get round to it. Maybe this year! It would be fun to use my channel some more.

Anyway, the wardrobe post is done, and January is over. This month hasn't quite gone to plan (does life ever!?) but there has been some progress, and of course, there's still 11 months of 2017 to go!

Did any of you make an egl wardrobe post? Link me to yours if I've not commented on it already!
How has your January been? Feel free to chat to me about it in the comments!

Thanks for reading and I'll see you next time 

Sunday, 15 January 2017

🍓 Rainy Day Looks and Wintry Frills 🎀

Hey everyone! I'm getting some good vibes from this year already, and this is reflected in the surge of creativity I've had these past couple of weeks. I find myself writing lists and coming up with new designs and concepts for my business, as well as beginning to work towards some more personal goals already. The year is so young but... so far so good!

One way in which my creativity has come back full force is where putting together outfits and taking proper outfit pictures is concerned, so I thought I'd share a couple with you!

This first outfit was for running some errands and being my mum's personal chauffeur to her hairdresser's appointment. She can't drive, so it's really nice to be able to take her places after all those years in which she accompanied me via public transport or on foot when I needed moral support. It was a grey, rainy day, so I wanted to wear something dark, but with a little whimsy to cheer me up. I've also started to do my makeup differently, which has been a fun experiment as in the past I've mainly gone without makeup at all, or put on the absolute minimum. Hopefully I will get better at photographing it as time goes on!

No glasses-- what a rarity! I'm not actually used to seeing myself without glasses as they've been such a staple part of my look for a long time now, but it's been a nice change! I'm tempted to get different styles of glasses for different outfits, though.

The skirt was an absolute bargain on eBay. It caught my eye because it reminded me of a Meta print I own. I figured it would be cool to own a miniskirt with a very sweet lolita-esque print and I was right. I teamed things up with a Fall Out Boy t-shirt which matched the print, and some lolita flats.
The slogan really tickles me, and only adds to the charm. I'm so into monochrome with splashes of colour recently.
Cardigan: Lazy Oaf
Top: Blue Banana
Skirt: Lazy Oaf
Shoes: Bodyline

Next up, a lolita coordinate. I had more errands to run, including posting out shop orders, which always puts me in a good mood. I feel so much like myself again for the first time in a long time, back to those days where I can just throw on a lolita dress for a mundane outing. I think that's my favourite time to wear lolita, though, with no pressure or expectation from anyone else, and the freedom to enjoy the clothes entirely on my own terms. I'm definitely a lone lolita at heart!
This is one of those jumperskirts that I somehow forget to wear. I'm glad I remembered about it on this occasion, though! I find it so cute and old school, and I like the retro feel of the polka-dots. 

I went for another item that gets less air time than it deserves: my Teddy Ribbon coat!
It is such a warm, heavy piece, and with appropriate layering underneath, absolutely conquers those chilly days we've been having here in the UK recently. This coat is quite long on me, and covers up the entirety of whichever dress I have on underneath. I like this as it keeps me warmer, but also means I can use my coat as an outfit in its own right!
Jumperskirt: Bodyline
Coat: Baby, The Stars Shine Bright
Bag: Angelic Pretty
Shoes: Bodyline

That's all my outfit pictures for now, but I'm sure I will be posting many more this year now that I've discovered a nice corner of my bedroom that's convenient for outfit shots, and realised that the flash on my camera is actually quite nice! As well as correcting poor or uneven lighting and making up for the short daylight hours of winter, it seems to have eliminated the grainy, blurry look a lot of my other indoor pictures have had. Result!

I hope you've all had a great start to the new year, and that you enjoyed this post! A question I'll leave you with is: do you prefer to wear lolita as part of a group or by yourself? Maybe you like both? I'd love to hear your thoughts on it!

Thanks for reading and looking, and I'll see you next time 

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

The New Year's Post 🎆

I'm big on closure and reflection, so imagine my frustration when my laptop died again and I was left without any means of doing the general blog-related housekeeping duties I normally partake in at the end of the year. Today I received my brand new laptop (I also made sure, for the first time, to purchase 3 year breakdown insurance for it, because I have gotten through way too many laptops at this point not to). I opted for buying something more heavy-duty than I really need it to be just in case!

Anyways, now I'm here, I suppose I ought to do some musings for the year that ended, and the one that's just beginning.

Like many others out there, 2016 sucked for me. It wasn't the absolute worst year of my life, but it was probably one of the most disappointing, though I guess that's the downside to approaching things with optimism! I started the year incredibly hopeful after a very aimless, meandering 2015. I thought that this would be the year I finally got my life together, with a career on track and the steps in place to move out of my family home. Oh gosh-- absolutely nothing went to plan! I didn't get a job in my field of interest, I still live at home, and the future currently seems to be one big experimental question mark. So... why do I feel excited for 2017!?

Maybe it's because despite the friendships that ended, the mental health struggles, and the times when everything seemed to be going a bit wrong... 2016 had its really amazing moments. Like the sense of achievement I got from pulling off my Hyper Japan adventure! 
Sometimes I still look back on pictures such as these and think "omg. I did all of that."
I got a real buzz from being a vendor at such a busy convention, and I would love to do more events in 2017! Oh, and let's not forget that I learnt to drive. Who would have thought that would ever happen!? I struggle a lot with driving anxiety, but I refuse to let that hold me back, and I'm actively working on not psyching myself out when I am a perfectly capable driver. Five years on from meeting my partner online for the first time (via, of all places, our paths crossing due to our super musical compatibility), we went to see The Darkness in London for what turned out to be an absolutely amazing gig.
It provided a nice circularity to things, standing there, hand in hand, seeing Justin Hawkins in the flesh, bouncing up and down to the music that had initially brought us together, and reflecting on how our relationship has grown. I hope 2017 will bring more happy, carefree moments such as these.

Fashion-wise, I didn't like any of the brand releases whatsoever in 2016. I always knew lolita would continue to evolve but at this stage in its evolution, I'm just so disinterested! Nothing about the current classic-influenced, rather OTT look appeals to me, and I'm quietly glad to see that there's a growing counter-movement in which people are showing off wearable, daily outfits and trying out old school looks. I don't want to be that person who's constantly stuck in the past, but previous lolita eras were what got me into the fashion, and had an aesthetic that appealed to me. I suppose all I can do is be aware of what's current, and continue dressing the way I prefer regardless!

A happy December pic the day after the gig. This called for white tights but whatever, haha.

A brand I've been super into lately is Lazy Oaf. I've known about them for a while through seeing other friends wearing their clothing, but I never really got a chance to get into their clothes until recently, when I had some disposable income, and some time to pop into their shop and see what the quality of their pieces was like. I needn't have worried too much. I came out with a panda dress which I fell in love with (I really like pandas) and a desire to own more of their items. My collection is slowly but surely growing, and it's been really fun to experiment with my style in a way I've not done in a while. I think Lazy Oaf is a good brand for those into 90s inspired looks, Japanese street fashion, and wearable pieces with quirky details. I love that it's a UK brand, and that I can get some fairly distinctive items without having to worry about import fees!

This Mickey Mouse cardigan is the cosiest, softest, warmest thing ever and I love it so much.

It's been a lot of fun to have a brand to be excited about, as I've obviously not been able to get that feeling from lolita brands in a long time! It's made me really mull over the kinds of clothing I'd like to create for my own brand, which constantly seems to be changing. I went through a short period of time where I wanted to make it specifically a lolita brand, but I don't really think there's any point. The lolita market is over-saturated, and I kinda feel that everything has been done already. Currently, I'm thinking of expanding the clothing I offer, as currently I'm a bloomers queen, with the rest of the items being accessories. It would be great to offer pieces that would appeal to lolitas/people into J-fashion/colourful alt-fashion lovers, while doing something affordable and different. I'll have to see how that goes! It feels as though 2017 is going to be my fashionista sewist renaissance and I'm so hyped for it.

I've not much else to say. I think those of us who experienced hardships in 2016 need to do our best to heal and recover, learn from our mistakes, find strength to deal with our pain, and find a way to focus our light and energy on making this year a better one for ourselves and each other. I've not set any proper resolutions for myself, but I want to work on some career and business-related goals, as well as building up some new friendships. If I get to do any travelling this year, it will truly be the icing on the cake.

How was your 2016? Have any goals in mind for 2017? I'd love to hear your New Year's thoughts!

Happy New Year!!! I hope 2017 will be everything you want it to be. 
Much love.

Monday, 5 December 2016

Season Finales and Festive Fun 🎆

Last week at work was an incredibly bizarre one, filled with the sorts of unexpected twists and turns you'd find in the season finale of your favourite drama series. There was my resignation letter, followed by a tense atmosphere and retaliatory incidents at the hands of my sociopath manager that my fellow colleagues didn't deserve. There was me crying while I talked to an HR rep about the fact I couldn't bring myself to stay in such a toxic environment any longer. There was a game-changing conversation between myself and someone I never would have expected to have developed a connection with. This person... oh goodness, this person confided in me about something they hadn't told anyone else in the 9 years they'd been there. To be trusted like that was somehow heartbreaking for me, and I felt terrible knowing they'd be alone in that hellhole of a workplace once I'd gone. I was walking away, leaving with their troubled face watching me rather forlornly... and I swung back round and opened my arms and they opened theirs and we stood holding each other in an embrace to end them all. The episode ended with me running off into the dusk for the car park, where I collapsed into my yellow car and began simultaneously bawling and laughing hysterically. before driving home to Infinity On High. That night, I braided pink back into my hair and eventually fell into a restless sleep. I have no idea what happens next where that aspect of my life is concerned, so I expect I will have to tune in for the next season.

🎆   ðŸŽ†   ðŸŽ†

Knowing I could use some cheering up, Sammi met up with me on Saturday and we had a really lovely friend date together. We decided to head to the Thai restaurant we'd enjoyed for my birthday celebrations in September, and settled ourselves down for a couple of hours of good food and great conversation. 

So, guess who didn't even realise it was International Lolita Day!? Sammi informed me and I couldn't believe I had managed to completely forget about it. I guess fate had other ideas, though, because I had felt very positive I wanted to wear lolita that day. It felt like "coming home", after having been away for a little while. Shame this picture turned out so blurry because I rather liked that casual coordinate!

I went for a tofu dish, which consisted of some really yummy noodles and stir fried veggies. I ended up swapping and sharing food with Sammi, who had inadvertently managed to order what was basically just a plate of pork, haha. We shared a bowl of coconut rice we'd found so delicious the previous time, and laughed at the fact we'd both made attempts at home to replicate it ourselves at home!

Sammi got me this Pusheen mug for Christmas! I couldn't help squeeing when I opened it up. It's so adorable, and is the perfect shape for cupping in your hands. I'm so excited to use it!

After sharing a warming pot of English tea, we headed off into town to have a look around the shops. We couldn't help spending some time in Paperchase, where I ummed and ahhed over buying myself a pink Christmas tree for my bedroom. In the end, I decided to leave it behind and have a think about it. We eventually ended up in TK Maxx. Sammi triumphed there and bought a gorgeous, festive duvet set. We noticed the huge mirrors in the shop and couldn't help stopping for a photo!

I really loved Sammi's outfit! It gave me something of a 90s vibe, and I love a denim mini skirt! A+

By this point, we were feeling a bit chilly and wanted to sit in a café. On our search for one that wasn't filled to the brim, we found ourselves face to face with bright lights and fairground rides. Reading had done it again and put on yet another big themed event! We immediately postponed our café plans and went to investigate!

Gosh, I love Christmastime. I love seeing those German food stalls that always seem to pop up, with their bright lights and festive colours and hunger-inducing smells.

We wandered around, hoping that there might be a Waltzer ride, which is a favourite of both of ours. There wasn't one, unfortunately, but we still enjoyed having a look around. We discovered bumper cars with penguin covers on them, and a proper little ice rink! 

There was so much light at this event that even though the sky was pitch black we still managed to have really good selfie lighting! I enjoy our matching cat eye glasses, and my pink hair here!

Finally, after having definitely seen all there was to see, we made our way to Caffé Nero, and decided to order something off the festive menu. We both went for the salted caramel option. Sammi bought the latte and I got the hot chocolate.

The whipped cream was heavenly, and I felt so cosy and content!

We remained chatting for a few hours, about everything and nothing and back to everything again, before finally parting ways at the train station. 

It's pretty safe to say I had one of the best days I'd had in a long time, and it served as the perfect end to what had been a really tumultuous week, plus served as a way of moving on from what had been a really bad month prior. I think all this life re-evaluation has been really good for me, and I feel so much more positive and energised! 

So, some potential topics for our comment discussion! Have you ever had any really bad workplace experiences that caused unnecessary amounts of drama? Did you celebrate International Lolita Day? What sorts of things do you get up to during the festive season? I'd love to hear all about it!

Thank you so much for reading, and see you guys next time for even more yuletide cheer!