Saturday, August 23, 2014

LBC: Most Loliable Place in my Hometown

This week's round of the Lolita Blog Carnival hits at a pretty perfect time for me, as it was only a couple of posts ago I just finished talking about the very subject! That is, the topic is The Most Loliable Place in my Hometown!

I admit, the place I will be discussing is not my actual town. This is partly due to that I feel a bit awkward plastering where I live online, and also simply because where I live is very, shall we say, not very loli. But that's okay, because the place I will be discussing is certainly adorable enough to make up for it! I present to you ladies and gentleman Downtown San Juan Bautista (California, USA).

Downtown San Juan Batista is a little under half an hour from where I live, and it's absolutely filled to the brim with adorable antique shops and interesting little boutiques. There are absolutely no large chain stores allowed, so it's a very small, personable little street where one truly feels welcome.

Unfortunately I did not have time to make another visit on my own before the LBC deadline, so these photos are all courtesy of Google Images. This is but a small glimpse of the many shops absolute jammed packed into this little street. Many of them are decorated with a quaint, shabby chic vibe and are absolutely perfect for any Lolita looking for a new brooch (there are hundreds to choose from!) or a gorgeous tea cup to add to her collection. Antique, vintage and beautiful treasures fill the windows and one can easily spend an entire afternoon exploring, shopping and just plain talking to the lovely owners.

Aside from all the wonderful shops, there are a few lovely little places to grab a snack as well. Margot's Ice Cream Parlor is wildly popular and definitely a treat to experience, and the Mission Cafe is nice for a quick bite of good old fashioned cooking. There's also a handful of amazing Mexican restaurants to choose from, a burger joint and even a little bakery to choose from. Remember, you won't find any chain restaurants around these parts, just good mom and pop food!

I should also mention that the mission of San Bautista is literally right behind downtown and definitely worth taking a look! The church has been beautifully preserved and is absolutely rich in history and beautiful scenery.

Not to mention, just look at that garden!! If that's not perfect for an afternoon stroll, then I may as well hang up my petticoat now. Of course one must remember to be very respectful as it is still an active church and an important historical landmark.

I hope anyone thinking about visiting California and is in the area gives this sweet little place a chance. It's very reminiscent of its roots and the perfect place for any Lolita to spend a day. If you're looking for more lovely Loliable places, please check out what these other bloggers have mentioned below!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

My first tea parties-a Bodyline review

So you know that feeling when you get something new in the mail and you can't wait to just tear into it, take a million pictures and share it with the world? It's an awesome feeling. And it's an equally not so awesome feeling the second you open that package and realize all your hopes have been shattered. Sadly, the latter has been my experience.

On August 3rd I ordered my very first pairs of tea party shoes from Bodyline. I ordered style 256 in black and style 251 in silver. They arrived August 18th, so just about two weeks from China to America with Airmail shipping. It's about what I was expecting and I wasn't in any rush for them to arrive, so I'm glad they showed up when they did. I was super excited when I saw them in my room, they were not only my first pair of tea parties, but my first pair of REAL Lolita shoes! They weren't in any boxes, but rather the standard tons of bubble wrap and securely sealed inside a plastic envelope. 

Unfortunately, I had a sinking feeling the second I began to unwrap them. They looked small. Now, I had done my homework, read all over EGL and other reviews of these exact shoes and thought I had a pretty good idea in mind what size to order. I know when it comes to ordering online (especially a place like Bodyline that doesn't accept returns) that it's no time to be vain and pretend you're smaller than you really are. So I measured my foot about 40 times (even traced it on paper and measured the outline) and every time I came up with 24.5 cm (I wear a US size 8.5 for reference). Perfect. I could order size 245, just like everyone told me to (and just my luck, that was the largest size they had in silver). So that's what I did.

                    Nope. I suppose technically these shoes are size 245. Exactly 245. I can fit my feet into them, but they are literally the exact size of my feet, so my toes scrape the front of the shoe and there is absolutely no wiggle room to speak of.                               

That being said, I still took a quick photo, just to see if I like the look of tea parties on me. I admit, I feel really super cute in them, and the black ones don't feel as OTT as I feared they would.The straps aren't tight and the shoe isn't too narrow, so it's not so much a problem of the entire shoe being too small. If I've ever felt like an ugly step sister wishing she could chop her toes off, this was definitely it.

Still, despite these issues, I do have plans to order more tea parties from Bodyline. I really would like some pink and white ones and now I know to order at least half a size up. I am glad that the shoes themselves seem well made with no loose threads, wonky stitching or straps coming apart. I'm also really glad that aside from the squishy toes, the rest of the shoes actually feel quite comfortable. I don't tend to wear a lot of flat shoes anymore because after an hour or so they really begin to hurt my feet. Though I haven't walked in these long term yet, the inside already feels like they give a bit more support than regular ballet flats, so I'm hoping that comfort will last for more than a  few hours at a time.

And as a quick aside, I also ordered these boots (style 298). Even huger disappointment. SO tiny (much tinier than the tea parties despite having ordered the same size) and I probably should have ordered at least two sizes bigger for them to fit comfortably. The boots themselves are actually of nice quality though, the faux fur very soft and the construction sturdy. However, the heels did come with some white stuff that are kind of difficult to brush off and they did have a very strong chemical smell right out of the bag. I still really do love the look of these boots and they seem like they'd be very comfortable in the right size, but as I doubt I can sell these (since they're heavy and the cost of shipping would be ridiculous) I don't know if I can get another pair for awhile. Huge, huge disappointment.

Overall, I'm sorry this post had to be such a downer. But I figure it's good for me to get that information out there anyway for other Lolitas, let others learn from my mistakes. Thankfully my darling boyfriend has offered to take the tea parties to the cobblers while I'm at work to see if they can be stretch about half an inch, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed it'll work. Here's to hoping my next order of tea parties will end on a happier note.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


I remember back in elementary school when school fundraiser's were a big deal. They usually came around the big holidays, and as always, students were bribed by a catalog filled with prizes they could earn depending on how much they wound up selling. A lot of these prizes were pretty gimmicky or cheap...yo-yos, plastic airplanes or boats. But of course, the more one sold, the nicer the prize, leveling up to cameras and remote controlled vehicles. And jewelry. Lots and lots of jewelry. 

I was in the first grade when I became obsessed with winning a dragonfly brooch made from blue and white crystals. It was so beautiful and grown up and I was determined to make it mine. So I sold. I don't remember the how's or when's and details of it all now, but I do remember that moment when I tallied up my amount, and the absolute thrill of realizing that dragonfly pin was coming my way.

It was just as beautiful in person as it was in the picture. I absolutely adored it and even though I had no idea how or what to wear it with, I loved it. Unfortunately, it was stolen from me by a classmate in less than a day. After that, I never really looked at brooches again. I'm not really sure why. I seriously doubt it had anything to do with some subconscious fear of the brooch I lost in early childhood, but as much as I adored them when I was younger, I haven't looked at them twice since. At least, until now.

Ta da! Aren't they gorgeous? Last weekend there was a local antique show that my boyfriend and I decided to go to and meet up with my parents. It was held in a small downtown district the next town over that we like to visit a few times a month so we were looking forward to it. Let me just say, my mind was BLOWN. While I was expecting a few little booths to check out and the usual antique shops open, I was instead greeted with an entire road dedicated to dozens and dozens of gorgeous, unique treasures!

We wandered for a few hours, and wound up purchasing a few teacups and a jewelry holder in the shape of a teapot. But what really started to catch my eye were the hundreds upon hundreds of gorgeous rings, necklaces, earrings, and of course, brooches. Now, ever since I bought my new ivory dress with the silver embroidery, I've been wanting a silver deer pin to go with it. I've been searching around and sadly still have yet to find a deer pin that isn't overly Christmas-y. But since we were there we began to search anew.

Sadly, I never did find a deer brooch. What I did find, as you can see, were two pins that are just as beautiful! Roses and poinsettias are my two favorite flowers and it just so happens I was wearing a white and red dress that day that suited the rose pin beautifully. I really love that brooches are a nice, easy way for me to continue to dip my toes into the world of color without going too bold, and as my outfits tend to be somewhat plain I'm excited to continue to add these little details that will really pull my whole look together.

I admit, it also feels good to support a local businesses. As mentioned, my boyfriend and I take to visiting this downtown quite often nowadays and we almost end up purchasing something by the end of the day. One shop in particular regularly sells hundreds of brooches, and I have a feeling I'm very quickly going to become a regular customer.

I'm thinking in the future I might take some photos of my favorite shops to share and showcase some of the amazing things they sell. This little downtown is a Lolitas dream and the more we support small business, the better chance they have of sticking around. I'm so pleased with my new brooches and I look forward to adding to my collection.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

The great shoe debate

So, I've never really been huge into shoes. I'm not sure why, they've just never been my top priority. Don't get me wrong, I definitely like them in pictures, I think they can be super cute and I made sure to invest in some nice, versatile heeled Mary-Janes to wear with a bulk of my Lolita outfits. But otherwise I've never felt a strong pull that encouraged to go ahead and try out lots of different style of shoes, it was always just another detail that I would get to 'someday'.

But suddenly, out of nowhere, all of that has changed.

Maybe it's because I'm branching out now with my color pallet and I want shoes to match. Maybe it's because my budget is a little more limited nowadays and I can get a pair of shoes (or two) for way cheaper than a dress. Or maybe it's because I'm finally sick of wearing the same look alike three pairs of shoes over and over again. Whatever the reason is, the bug has at last bitten me. Hard.

I admit, I'm looking into Bodyline. Although I feel as though I've personally "graduated" from ordering too much more of their clothing, shoes seem like a different matter entirely. I know they're definitely a popular place to buy shoes from, even from very seasoned Lolitas, and the fact that they currently have their lovely $10 shipping deal going on doesn't hurt either. I've given myself a two shoe limit at the moment, so let's see, what have I got my eye on.


Wow. Tea parties. Me? I've avoided these types of shoes for so long since I feel they're just a bit too childish for me, plus I have big feet and I always feel like flat shoes make them look even bigger (even outside of Lolita I rarely wear flat shoes). But through the winds of change I find myself constantly coming back to them, pulled in by their adorable charm and comfort possibilities. I realize it's probably a good idea for me to own at least one pair of flat Lolita shoes, so why not stick with the classics? I'm sure with the right coord I can still avoid coming off too childish, and since this particular style is a little more cutesy, I would stick with plain black to blend in with most of my current wardrobe.

Another pair of tea parties! Gosh, they're just too lovely, aren't they? Although I also really like these in black, I'm considering purchasing these in silver instead (to wear for a certain day in the not to distant future when my boyfriend might just possibly pop a certain question!). I also feel like this style is just a tad more mature than the other tea parties, so I like them in brown as well since I think they would compliment my new love for classic, brown dresses.

These shoes actually look very similar to what I ordinarily wear already, just a little more jazzed up. I fell in love with these in brown and I think they give off a lovely classic vibe. Of course, I love them in black and navy too! Although these aren't flats, I'm certainly not ready to give up my heels forever and these really mesh so well with my favorite look, so I expect I'll probably own more than one pair of these sooner or later.


Okay, I'm honestly not sure if these even count as Lolita, and I don't really care. I've loved these boots since they first came out last year and I still love them now. They're at a real bargain price right now (probably because it's the middle of summer), and even though I really don't need any more heels OR anything with fur lining the inside, it's getting more and more difficult to resist...

Omgosh, so many choices!!! And that's not even counting all of the other beautiful shoes I have my eye on from other websites. One pair at a pair at a time.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

My first Innocent World

I'll admit it. I'm in love with LaceMarket. It's everything I'd always hoped for in a second hand Lolita sales website, and I probably spend WAY more time there than necessary. Of course, it has it's fault (its Favorites system leaves much to be desired), but overall I adore this website and have found many amazing deals through it.

Case in point, my first two beautiful Innocent World dresses! I'm still on this kick about finding new things outside my usual little comfort zone, and these two dresses were at such a good price (seriously, less than $200 for BOTH of them, including shipping!) how could I possibly pass them up?

I'm so in love! I was a bit worried since the measurements listed had my exact bust measurement as the max limit, but it was so pretty I simply couldn't ignore it. I'm so glad I didn't! I admit, for comfort sake I do wish the bust was just an inch or so bigger, but thankfully it doesn't look overly snug when I wear it, and it's not so uncomfortable that I can't wear it all day. I may use the waist ties to add a little bit more breathing room to the back someday, but for now I'm pleased with it.

I absolutely adore the length and shape of it, this dress actually reaches my knees without a petticoat, and because of its shape it can be worn without one too. I wore it to work the day after I got it, and I paired it with my new chocolate Angelic Pretty necklace and a pair of camel colored pumps that don't really work for a proper Lolita outfit, but were cute enough that I got plenty of compliments. It was the first time I wore a full outfit without a shred of black in it for a very long time!

This second dress is admittedly a bit of an odd style.I was a little apprehensive at first, but in the end it won me over. I'm really beginning to love more and more these "sack" dress styles, they're just so comfortable and cute! Thankfully the bustline on this dress isn't as low as it looks, and now that I have it I realize it would be very easy to adjust the buttons on the back so it sits a bit higher if I wish. The straps tend to slip off my shoulders fairly easily too, so I think shortening them a bit will also help with that problem, though if I go that route I will definitely need to wear some type of underskirt with it.

Again, even though this dress has some black in it, I'm really proud of this purchase since once again I feel like it pushed me a little bit out of my comfort zone while still sitting nicely in the classic look I'm going for. The cream makes it really easy for me to coordinate with my brown necklaces I recently purchased (I like this dress paired with my BTSSB bear necklace personally), and I think it could be paired easily with either a white or black underskirt, depending on what look I'm going for. Without a petticoat it sits just about a couple inches above my knee, so it works well just as a simple dress that I can also wear to work, which is always a plus!

Overall, I'm so excited with these dresses! I actually bought them both a few weeks ago, but I decided to wait until they both arrived since one took awhile to get here (for good reason, it came all the way from Australia!).  I adore them both and I think they're the perfect gateway in getting me to keep pushing myself out there.

Loving it!
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