July 11th, 2015
Ahh, Summer. For some this invokes lazy days with sun-kissed cheeks, while for others it’s being unable to sleep without a cold shower and a powerful fan. Whatever your take on the season, there are some really great activities you shouldn’t miss out on with your community!
- Walk on the boardwalk. You can often find fun little shops near the ocean breeze.
- Visit an ice cream bar. Seek out one with unusual flavors like Earl Grey.
- Catch a flick at the drive in. These are nearly extinct, so if you have one nearby take advantage!
- Roast backyard campfire sm’ores. Or take this tradition to the beach in an approved area.
- Go to the aquarium. Its so refreshing watching the fishes swim.
- Host a lolita-themed carnival. Have everyone chip in and create games based on the fashion.
- Take photos with bubbles. Get a bubble blower and host the ultimate shoujo photoshoot!
- Make a seaweed scrapbook. An unusual scrapbook idea but somewhat popular with the Victorians.
- Play lawn games. Croquet, cornhole, lawn darts, and ladder toss are great for friendly competition.
- Visit a lighthouse. See if they’ll let you climb to the top!
- Check out the local county fair. Win prizes, eat fried foods, and try all the rides you can handle.
- Collect seashells. Then turn them into mermaid-approved accessories.
- Reserve a table by the waterfront. Nothing quite like the fresh air and a view of the boats.
- Tour historical ships. A great excuse to wear a Sailor or Pirate coord!
- Take a summer class. You can learn lots of neat things like baking, knitting, and painting.
- Watch a fireworks display. Pack blankets and make it a picnic.
- Play tourist. Pick an iconic spot that locals rarely visit- great way to greet newcomers!
- Skip stones at a nearby creek. Pack some lemonade and relax to the sounds of the stream.
- Celebrate Christmas in July. A great reason to bust out the holiday prints more than once a year.
- Visit an arcade. Beat the heat (and each other) at a video game cabinet, skeeball, or air hockey.
- Hold a sleepover with close friends. I don’t think you’re ever too old to do this!
- Attend a free concert. There are all kinds of free public events in the Summer.
- Take a road trip. Research new magical destinations and explore them for the day.
- Split root beer floats at a vintage soda jerk. And throw on an A-line skirt to match the vibe!
- Go wine tasting. Vineyards are splendid with plump grapes this time of year.
What does Summer mean to you? Is it the jingle of the ice cream truck pulling onto your street, or never leaving the comforts of an air-conditioned place?
For myself Summer brings back fond memories of living in South Florida under the palm trees with prismatic sunsets, thunderstorms with such heavy rain it would take hours to drain out of the streets, catching little reptiles, pretending to be mermaids in the pool, taking road trips to Disney World, and building sand castles on the hot beach. But of course, the weather was always Summer there. Have a wondrous day and thank you for reading!
July 4th, 2015
It is a particularly somber moment to realize when the love you once had for a pastime has weakened. For many months I’ve quietly watched friends wax melancholic about leaving lolita. It is as if every day brings a new post of feeling drained by the community and getting lost in the meaning of dressing this way. While surely I can’t stop anyone from selling their wardrobe and finding greener pastures, I do have something I’d like to say.
Think hard about what lolita means to you, personally.
Strip away everyone else in the world and focus on what made it special to you. It could be an escape from everyday life or a sort of battle armor for going out in public. Perhaps it’s a reason to meet with friends. Or maybe it’s an outlet for creativity. We all have a reason unique and personal to us for donning these frills. In the hustle and bustle of modern life it should be a treat and not a burden.
If you’re feeling too lost and conflicted to think in the present it may do good to travel back into the root of your attraction. What makes you fall in love with lolita all over again? When parched for inspiration I find it so indulgently euphoric to read back through an old lolita blog or pour over snaps from meetups across the world. It’s the bigger picture of dressing in a way that makes you happy and finding friendship with others across the world who do the same that fills me. A few things that may inspire are:
- Finding a cozy, quite place to leaf through a Gothic Lolita Bible
- Responding as “going” to the next scheduled meet
- Assembling imaginary coordinates with your favorite pieces
- Re-reading dreamy blog posts
- Flipping through outfit snaps
- Dressing for yourself as soon as you get home from work or school
- Watching historical dramas from your favorite eras of fashion
|Photo courtesy of ミ ルク ❤
From my corner of observation the prevailing reason that spells near defeat has been the lolita community at large. As the community continues to expand there will come with it many personalities as well as pockets of negativity on varying scales. But being part of a lolita community does not have to mean international or online if you start to find it discouraging. Your own sense of community could just be with the friends you’ve made through events, or maybe you find being a lone lolita suits you best. Maybe you really do enjoy being part of the community at large but have been at a loss. Find your personal sweet spot.
Of course, for some it may just be the time to let go, and that is all just as well. Perhaps after trying to rekindle the flame in your heart it has only smoldered further. With complete confidence in your decision you may now start on your next chapter. Only consider that you do so for the right reasons.
Have you ever had thoughts of leaving lolita? I can’t say that I have personally, though there have been times where I felt a little burned out. Have a wondrous day and thank you for reading.
June 27th, 2015
With an overstuffed closet and more on the way I was finding myself in an all-too common dilemma: what could I do to make room? My usual response to this- getting creative with storage- was starting to flounder, and the sheer amount of clothing and accessories I’d amassed had begun to overwhelm.
When it comes to the things I really enjoy, I tend to collect. You can truly see this manifest in our kitchen cupboard filled to the brim with teas, bookcases stuffed full of plush animals from overseas, and (of course) a lolita wardrobe overflowing in abundance. Unless I ended up with strong second-thoughts, everything I bought was there to stay. I was enthralled by the numbers my collections had grown to until the visual clutter began to suffocate. Instead of criticizing the space housing my wardrobe, it was clearly time to look at my wardrobe instead.
As I’m sure you know, it’s no easy task trying to get rid of a collection. When you take into account the rarity of lolita, the often sentimental value, and all the pretty details that go into every piece the task rapidly begins to multiply in difficulty. What if I regret selling this and can’t find it again, or it spikes up in price on the secondhand market? This color/cut doesn’t suit me quite right, but oh how I love this print so much! I will never get back the full amount I paid for it after service and shipping fees, so won’t this be better to keep? But this was my first ever lolita dress, there will be no other first dress! I have told myself every one of these things, and I’m sure they sound familiar to you too. But what is the point of keeping these things if we can’t enjoy them?
I was recently enlightened by reading “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo, which I highly recommend. Unlike many approaches to tidying which focus on creative storage methods or arbitrary timeline guides on when to discard, there is just one principle: only keep the items that truly bring you joy, and let go of the rest. This method, dubbed the “KonMari” method, ensures that by the time you are done you will be surrounded by only the things you truly love and everything will find its place within your home. Who could not want such a thing?
It’s really quite simple:
- Gather everything from one category into a pile
- Pick up each individual item and assess if it sparks joy
You will be surprised at how much you own that does not positively affect you.
The KonMari method asks that you follow a specific order in discarding. This is so that you hone your decision making skills before reaching the sentimental items, which are much harder to part with. The first category in this order is clothing, which may not be the best choice for someone who loves clothes. Still, it should surprise you to hear that within one night I had over 100 items from my lolita wardrobe for sale when beforehand it felt incredibly lucky to find myself willing to part with five. I could only sit in disbelief wondering at the large box of items I had been surrounded by that did not bring me complete joy.
When you gather every article of clothing and accessories in a pile you really comprehend the sheer amount you own. Handling each item one at a time and facing your emotional response can tell you a lot more than just whether or not an item has outlived its appeal. In the end I discovered nearly all of my sweeter pieces- which I had been holding on to for “that day” I would want to wear a sweet ensemble again- in the for sale box. Even my very first dress. And I didn’t feel any regret, rather, I felt a little lighter. I was left with a wardrobe uniquely me at this very moment, free from the clutter of what did not suit me completely.
It is important to be of the mindset that you are choosing what to keep, rather than what to get rid of, and to appreciate what you part with by the lessons it taught you. I was able to let go of about a third of my wardrobe by thanking it for teaching me it wasn’t truly my style or color, and had therefore fulfilled its purpose. I thanked the cheaper pieces I’d bought to “pad” my wardrobe for showing me that I should not buy something just because of it’s price, as that reason alone will not leave me with pieces I am truly happy for. The hardest to part with- those pieces I really did like but did not spark complete joy- I thanked for showing me what I did and did not like. And pieces I once loved but did not wear anymore I thanked for bringing me happiness when they had.
Now that I have a wardrobe filled only with the things I truly enjoy I don’t have to guess as much about what suits me, and I have more confidence in future purchases because I can make out my aesthetic much more clearly. Of course, there will always be more items that don’t end up working out, but when that time comes I know what I need to do. And this isn’t limited to just your wardrobe; try applying this technique to the rest of your belongings and you can see what it is you truly want out of life. Without the clutter of unnecessary items it becomes easy to see what is important to you.
Do you think you are up to the challenge, dear reader? I’d love to hear what things you could never part with! Have a sugar-sweet day and thanks for reading!
June 19th, 2015
On April 20ᵗʰ of this year I had the great privilege and honor of marrying my closest friend in the entire world. This blog post will be a little different from the usual as I feel photos will convey the event much better than words ever will; so please, I invite you to take a peek at our big day.
April 20ᵗʰ is a special date for more than one reason.
It also happens to be my husband’s birthday.
This year, when I asked my then fiancé what he wanted… his answer was to be married to me.
I said let’s do it.
My wedding dress was Baby, the Stars Shine Bright’s Mystica Rosa.
With such a short time frame I decided to go with what I felt comfortable with.
With a little borrowed from a close friend, of course.
I wondered what type of dress he imagined I’d be wearing that day.
Already longing to be in his arms though I had only been getting dressed.
Ready to walk the path that would formally acknowledge what we always knew.
Longing for the rings we made together to wrap around our fingers.
While he waited eagerly outside…
… I could hardly contain my excitement.
My Prince Charming.
Our marriage was held in San Francisco City Hall.
A gorgeous venue, and a monument of the city in which we met.
We were very grateful to have our intimate friends and family fly in from all parts of the country…
… to share this wonderful day.
As long as I am with you, darling,
the world will always be alright.
There is nothing your love can’t fix.
And I will be forever yours.
These memories stand frozen in time.
Forever full, blossomed, and fragrant.
The voice from which our future experiences will echo.
There isn’t any part of me without you.
Very big thank-you to M + K Photography who not only shared this day with us, but documented it.
May 23rd, 2015
As a lolita I feel there is a lot to love about Spring. The mild weather is perfect for layers without needing much extra, and the blooming flowers add that extra soft pinch of delicacy to photos. This is one of the perfect times of the year to explore with your community. Here are some of my favorite ideas for enjoying the season.
- Build birdhouses. Put them outside to welcome new feathered friends into their own small cottage.
- Catch fireflies. See how many you can capture in a jar before setting them free.
- View the cherry blossoms. Take part in a local Hanami or host your own.
- Pick wild flowers. String daisy chains, blow wishes through dandelions, or hunt for four leaf clovers.
- Watercolor a scenic area. Purchase portable watercolor sets and paint a favorite local spot.
- Host a lazy picnic. Lay down and look at the clouds, or perhaps the stars.
- Go strawberry picking. Then find delectable recipes to turn them into jams, cakes, or pastries!
- Run a wildlife scavenger hunt. Create a list of flora and fauna to take pictures of for a prize.
- Visit an amusement park. Enjoy the milder temperatures while beating the Summer crowd.
- Race boats down a creek. Create paper boats and watch them drift downstream to the finish line.
- Host an outdoor tea party. Invite friends over and show off your new tea set or budding garden.
- Decorate flower pots. Then use them to plant bee-friendly flowers, herbs, or aromatic delights.
- Volunteer at a senior center. Seeing so many frills will brighten their day!
- Visit public gardens. Find out beforehand if it’s alright to have a photoshoot there.
- Try birdwatching. Get out your binoculars and discover your local species.
- Rent row boats. Find a quiet lake and take turns meandering your boat through the water.
- Throw a nature themed masquerade. Decorate masks with large feathers and fake flowers.
- Read aloud in a park. Prepare your favorite poetry, passage, or fairytale to share- or just listen in!
- Play mini golf. Engage in some friendly competition or up the stakes with a 1st place prize.
- Have an outdoor movie night. Rent a projector and watch movies over the sounds of crickets.
- Stop by the zoo. You might even see a few baby animals as they are typically born in Spring!
- Visit a historical site. Take a tour of a castle or Victorian mansion. Some will even have tea service.
- Float in a hot air balloon. View your city from a very different perspective.
- Watch a play in the park. Local theaters will sometimes have productions outdoors.
- Fly kites. Pick a windy location and soar kites in the sky.
Big thank you to our rabbit Mochi for striking such a handsome pose for me. My Spring has been spent in Seattle where I’ve had the chance to enjoy the April showers I’d otherwise be missing out on in California. On my favorite occasion, I was walking back to our rental under an umbrella through the frames of foliage that dot the neighborhood and had the pleasant thrill of hearing thunder for the first time in ages. I can’t tell which I liked more: the walk or the hot shower afterward with the window open breathing in its melody.
What is your favorite part about Spring? Do you have a great idea for a meetup that you’d love to share? I’d love to hear it in the comments. Have a sugar-sweet day and thanks for reading!