Romanticizing Your Rental (Pt. 1)

It seems we can afford a castle in France but not a desirable house in the Bay Area, so our plans for that have been put aside for a while. After all the day dreaming about how I would fix up our prospective house I’m left with the restrictions of a rental in both size and permissions, but I’ve grown too worked up over what I think my ideal living space should be to completely give up on it.

For that reason I’ve recently spent a lot of energy imagining how I can change the appearance of our apartment without any permanent additions. I want to focus on making the rental more than the standard structure it comes in while adding charm in every way possible, and of course I had to share these ideas with my dear readers.

Upgrading Your Fixtures

Today’s post is how to “upgrade” the fixtures in your rental without the extensive use of a toolkit. While you may not have a say in much of what your domicile was built with, there are still a few things you can do to have it match your ideal look.

Better lighting

This is such an understated and accessible item that has a large effect on how we view our surroundings, and it’s a great way to evoke different moods just by changing a bulb. Warm whites are great for comfort areas such as the bedroom or den, while bright or cool white bulbs are perfect for workspaces or bathrooms where precision and color correctness are important.

Forget about the standard ceiling lights and add a towering floor lamp in the living room or a cozy reading light by your bed. Place a petite candelabra aside the tub for a dreamy bath, or tack LED strips under a shelf to highlight your favorite collection. The options are endless and good lighting is anything but boring. Customizing your own lamp shade is also a great DIY project that can be as simple as a hot glue gun and trimmings!

Area rugs

As a victim of ugly apartment carpentry I understand how frustrating it is to have floors that are far from fashionable. Although we can’t permanently replace them with something more attractive, we can still do what we can to cover them up.

Tie in the colors of your decorum with a matching rug, or opt for neutral in a contrasting texture. Use a rug to visually separate different stations in a multipurpose room. Be sure the new rug works with the current color of your floor or it may clash worse than what you had before. Special rug holders for carpet will prevent lighter rugs from shifting or buckling.

Temporary Wallpaper

Even if the apartment management allowed me to paint I would prefer an option with less commitment and fumes my dear pets might inhale, which is why I opt for temporary wallpaper. The quicker payoff and limitless amounts of patterns make it a perfect match for apartment dwellers who want an easy alternative they won’t have to paint over in a year.

Cover the walls in neutral florals for a look that compliments every season or make a statement with bright patterns. Cover just one wall or all of them, and use the left over wallpaper to line bookcases or drawers.

Hang Fabric

The standard window blinds are great for averting unwanted eyes, but they are so unfortunately plain. Dressing up your windows adds a soft touch that contrasts nicely with the solidity of furniture, and what Lolita can resist dressing up her room in frills?

Go a step further and replace the closet doors with curtains to showcase your enviable wardrobe (being sure to save any screws and store the doors safely for when you leave). I love the idea of hanging fabric to hide unseemly storage or even draped on the walls or over the bed.

Faux Built-Ins

A lot of rentals come with bland, standard trimmings. Adding furniture that appears to be a part of the interior architecture is easier than it sounds and even if your apartment won’t allow installations and you aren’t handy there are a few options.

Perhaps the most charming of them is to bring in a fake fireplace. You could purchase a mantle alone and decorate the inside with logs or books or flowers, or visit a hardware store for a fake fireplace that houses a space heater (if you’d really like to pretend you’re sitting by a fire).

Another great way to fake a built-in is by the employment of bookcases. Use them to frame a door or hallway, or line them up to fill an entire wall! Make sure to find them in the same color as the apartments trimming, and for a really built-in look you can fill the space between the top of the bookcase and ceiling with crown molding.

I’m not quite yet done with my spring cleaning this month, but once I am I intend to employ all of these ideas into our current apartment to really transform it! For more inspiration check out my Pinterest board of inspiring spaces, and be sure to check out Part 2 of the series!

If you have any ideas or tips that you think would fit in this series, let me know in the comments! Have a sugar sweet day and thanks for reading!

5 More of My Favorite Purikura Apps!

Since my last purikura app post I’ve found a few more deco apps I really enjoy, and I wanted to share them with you! I’ll be using this photo to show what they can do:

kawaii baby the stars shine bright lolita selca

So in no particular order:

#1. Deco Puri

deco puri android purikura app
Available on Android

Unique Features:

  • Square Cropping
  • Skin Whitening/Smoothing

deco puri purikura kawaii android app lolita fashion

This app has some of my favorite frames! I really like their selection.

#2. DecoPetit


Available on Android

Unique Features:

  • None (◞‸◟ㆀ) it’s pretty standard!

deco petit purikura kawaii android app lolita fashion

It may not have any extras, but their frames and stamps are really cute!!

#3. Picute

picute purikura kawaii android app lolita fashion
Available on Android and iPhone

Unique Features:

  • Facial detection for beauty enhancement
  • Store to buy more deco

picute purikura kawaii android app lolita fashion

I don’t love how it adds white space to square photos, but it’s certainly worth keeping around for the cute deco! I usually use this one a lot for their vintage stamps.

#4. Snapeee

snapeee purikura kawaii android iphone app lolita fashion
Available on Android and iPhone

Unique Features:

  • Social network! It’s like a much cuter instagram
  • Follow your friends and like their purikura
  • Store to buy more deco

snapeee purikura kawaii android iphone app lolita fashion

I really wish I used this one more because of the social aspect! There are a ton of extras you can earn by using the app!

#5. Topic

topic purikura kawaii android iphone app lolita fashion
Available on Android

Unique Features:

  • Photo collage/grid
  • Square cropping

topic purikura kawaii android iphone app lolita fashion

At first I didn’t think I’d like this app because the stamps and frames look blurry in the program, but they save just fine! They have some really interesting doodle stamps I like a lot.

BONUS! Finger Face

finger face purikura kawaii android iphone app
Available on Android and iPhone

Unique Features:

  • Little faces and hands to give things personality

finger face purikura kawaii android iphone app dessert

Although it doesn’t have any frames or filters, I love its concentrated use for giving inanimate objects cuteness!

Don’t forget to check out the apps in my original list!

Do you plan to give these a try? Is there a purikura app you think I should know about? Have a sugar-sweet day and thanks for reading!

A Peek Inside My Purse

It’s been a while since I made a Lolita Blog Carnival post! I always find this topic really fun. A purse is like a portable home filled with the items you can’t be without. Here’s a peek at what I take everywhere with me:

A peek inside my kawaii taobao purse
Not pictured: phone and keys | In need of: a compact mirror!!!

  • Wallet – the cute terriers remind me of my little Cadet ❤
  • 3DS – for street passes and quick game time
  • Beauty – dry hands and chapped lips are the worst!
  • Point Cards – just in case I find myself at Baby, AP, or pikapika (purikura)
  • Candies – something sweet on the go!
  • Makeup – an emergency kit of bobby pins, eyelash glue, lipstick & lipgloss!

Other items I sometimes tote around with me are my Kindle, Tide To-Go pen, a small notebook & pen for ideas/ notes/ contact information, and a small bottle of water.

I fill my purse with as much personality and cuteness as I can! Want to know how?

Making the contents of your purse kawaii

What goes in your purse?

The first step is pretty simple. What do you need to carry around with you? Spill out the contents of your purse(s) and figure out what is important. I came to the conclusion that I needed the items above by having “I really wish I had this with me” moments while I was away from home and keeping out the items I never used. Get rid of anything that doesn’t belong such as old receipts, loose change, and other random items you shoved in your purse and forgot.

Organize

Keeping loose items in a small pouch helps avoid scrounging in your bag for lipgloss or gum. I like to keep any point and business cards in my wallet and all other items in a small pouch that can fit nearly any purse. If you need a place for receipts and loose change (why butt heads with habit?) consider a coin purse. I find this step especially important for items that have the potential to create a mess in an expensive purse!

Make it cute!

Always the fun part! Take your necessary items and find cute versions of them. Bland Kindle? Buy a skin for it! Simple compact mirror? Deco it! Go all out with the charms on your keyring and the characters on your wallet. I even have a little bunny cozy for stick-shaped lip balm. There are tons of options in this department. Great places to fill your purse with cuteness are:

Maintain It

This is easier if you’re switching bags with every outfit, but maintaining a clean purse is essential! It extends the life of the bag and makes using it a pleasant experience. I tend to prune the contents of my bag before and/or after going out to make sure any trash is where it belongs- not with me.

What are the contents of your purse? Have a sugar-sweet day and thanks for reading!

Other blogs talking about this:

A sweet Lolita’s Disney life
Hello Batty

My Top 5 Purikura Apps!

Hey guys! This week I booted up my favorite Purikura apps to discuss what makes them so special (+ 5 others I really enjoy). I will be using this photo in every app so you can really see the differences between them and the original:

Alright, on to the list! In no particular order:

#1. SBY Camera

Kawaii purikura girl lolita japan iphone android mobile app @ lace a la mode
Available on Android and iPhone

Unique Features:

  • You can change the menu background in settings
  • If you live in Japan you can print your pictures with Sealprint and Netprint!
  • Square cropping

Kawaii purikura girl lolita japan iphone android mobile app @ lace a la mode

This very cute and girly app is perfect for the gal in you! They have a really great selection of decorations to make your photo fabulous.

#2. Pashappy

Kawaii purikura girl lolita japan iphone android mobile app @ lace a la mode
Available on Android

Unique Features:

  • “Scrapbook” feature for memories
  • Focus feature to blur out backgrounds

Kawaii purikura girl lolita japan iphone android mobile app @ lace a la mode

One of my absolute faves! The edgy and unique decorations make this one stand out from the rest and give something completely different from most Purikura apps.

#3. PICTO

Kawaii purikura girl lolita japan iphone android mobile app @ lace a la mode
Available on Android

Unique Features:

  • Square cropping
  • Store to buy more decorations (mostly frames)

Kawaii purikura girl lolita japan iphone android mobile app @ lace a la mode

This app may not have the biggest frame selection on the list, but the adorable pixel stamps available makes this an app I can’t live without. (Sucker for cute pixels shh).

#4. Deco Pic

Kawaii purikura girl lolita japan iphone android mobile app @ lace a la mode
Available on Android and iPhone

Unique Features:

  • Crops square or full-size
  • Pre-made templates
  • Shop to download more decorations

Kawaii purikura girl lolita japan iphone android mobile app @ lace a la mode

This is the most well-rounded app I’ve used! Cute and edgy with lots and lots of options.

#5. Girls Camera

Kawaii purikura girl lolita japan iphone android mobile app @ lace a la mode
Available on Android and iPhone

Unique Features:

  • Create your own stamps or use ones others have made
  • Replace photo background with pattern
  • Shop to buy more decorations

Kawaii purikura girl lolita japan iphone android mobile app @ lace a la mode

This app is really rough around the edges but its unique option to create your own and use others’ handmade stamps makes it infinitely useful. Just be warned you may uh… find some NSFW doodles on there!

For more kawaii photo goodies, check out 5 more of my favorite purikura apps!

What apps do you use? Have a sugar-sweet day and thanks for reading!

Two Photo Apps I Can’t Live Without

I get a lot of questions about what apps I use to make my pictures so adorable, and while I don’t have time this week to compile a list of all of them (don’t worry, it will come) I figured I’d talk about the two that get the most use from me.
 

 
The first one is Camera 360 Ultimate. This has 100% replaced my native camera app! The main draw of Camera 360 Ultimate is the amount of filters they provide- and all of them work impressively well! I really can not have a bad picture when this app does most of the work for me. It even has a filter to make your skin look soft and glowing! Here is an example of what it does:
 

girl, fawn, fawn collar, filter, kawaii, lolita, mori girl, natural kei
Original photo with no filter

Here is a photo I took in the car after a photo shoot. It came out really nice, but the lighting is a little harsh! I’m going to use a soft filter to balance it out a bit and make the colors more interesting.

girl, fawn, fawn collar, filter, kawaii, lolita, mori girl, natural kei
w/ Magic Skin > Sweet filter

And there you have it! In a few seconds this photo is ready to share right from my phone.
 
I typically end up using the filters in “Magic Skin” and “Lighten” because I love having pastel photos, but I’m quick to venture out and explore what other filters have to offer. “Enhance” is especially good when taking picture in low-lighting scenarios, and even though I never use it their “Sketch” filter is actually one of the best I’ve seen. You can also go back into photos you have already taken in Camera 360 Ultimate and switch up the filters just in case you change your mind!
Download on Android | Download on iPhone
 

 
My second photo app obsession is Photowonder. Nobody can do a beauty app like these guys can. It has simple editing tools (crop, contrast, rotate, sharpen, vignette) as well as some purikura elements (decorations and frames), but the real deal is in the “Beautify” section. I’ll run through the options here:

Better skin– This creates a fill light that you can adjust to make everything glow
Intelli Beauty– The most amazing part of this app. Line up the circles to your eyes, and the rounded rectangle to your lips. You can then control how large your eyes are and how thin your jaw/chin/lips are. It’s insane how well it works!!
Slim– Similar to Liquify in Photoshop, this lets you push things around manually to slim down.
Larger Eye– Manually increase the size of your eyes.
Anti-acne– Remove the presence of acne by tapping on it.
Eyeline– This one always comes out looking fake to me, but you can manually add eyeliner from pre-made styles with it
Blusher– This actually works really well and is a favorite tool of mine! Choose the color, transparency, and size of the blush you want and place it on your cheeks.
Whiten– Manually whiten your skin.
Red Eye– Removes red eye.

 
 Here’s what happens when you use it:
 

girl, fawn, fawn collar, filter, kawaii, lolita, mori girl, natural kei
Before
girl, fawn, fawn collar, filter, kawaii, lolita, mori girl, natural kei
Bigger eyes, thinner jaw, and blush!

I may have went a little extreme with the proportions, but I wanted you to really be able to see what it can do. They also include their own filters, which are really nice but not as numerous as Camera 360 Ultimate’s. You can also share straight from this app once you are finished, which I always enjoy.
Download for Android | Download for iPhone
So while these are not really purikura apps, they are what I use before I go into decorating and are an important first step!
 
I hope you enjoy these as much as I do! What photo apps can you not live without?
 Have a sugar-sweet day and thanks for reading!