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.

🎆   🎆   🎆

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! 

Friday, 2 December 2016

Who Am I? Catch my train of thought and let's find out 🚂

November pretty much always ends up being a terrible month for me (maybe short-ass, dark-filled days are too much of a shock to the system!?) and when I end up doing a bit too much thinking. But that's me all over, really.

Anyway.

My relationship with lolita has changed a lot this year, and definitely for the better.

I used to use it to define me in a big way, and the reason behind that stems from a very negative adolescence. I found lolita fashion in my teenage years, and clung to it with both hands and made it the centre of my world-- an escape of sorts. As I got a little older, it became my main means of socialising and connecting with other people. I used it as a confidence boost and a way to block out the negativity of the world. But I'm in a very different period of my life now.

In a YouTube video at some point earlier on in the year, I discussed my observations on the current lolita climate, and how I felt disconnected from the community at large, which no longer felt like the cosy subculture of my teenage years. Since coming to a place of closure with all of that, things have changed for me. I began to see that there were so many other aspects of myself worth expressing, and that although lolita had been an important part of my life during some very formative years, it no longer needed to be my raison d'être. I stopped telling myself I was somehow "cheating" on lolita by spending time wearing other fashions, and re-connecting with my own personal sense of style. I re-evaluated friendships I held and asked myself just how deep they ran. If I were to leave lolita fashion tomorrow, who would still stick around? What would we have left in common? Who actually knows what I'm about? Who's even interested? I don't plan to leave lolita any time soon but it got me thinking about the level of superficiality in a lot of my interactions, and I realised I couldn't continue using the same social-, or by extension, life-model I had been sticking to for so many years. I realised I needed some more depth in my life.

A recent lounging around at home "coordinate".  It was nice to wear Princess Wardrobe after not having worn lolita at all for ages due to work, and general blah feels. Sorry I have no nice hi-res pictures to hand!

I was always drawn to old school Harajuku Bridge street snaps of the early noughties. The coordinates were often messy, with a ton of character and personality. The un-polished look speaks to me, and is so expressive of what I want in a fashion, of how I want to feel in a fashion. I want to feel like I can be myself unapologetically, with lolita merely being an ice breaker rather than a pre-requisite for someone to socialise with me. I lost my way a bit, without even realising. I go through these little periods of introspection every year, and they are so necessary. Sometimes, you need to check in with yourself and be completely honest about how you're doing and where you're at these days. Personally, I think I'm at a stage where I feel a sense of stagnation and the need to shake things up a bit. 

Moving forwards, I want to bring so much more to the table. As well as making sure my love for lolita remains healthy and intact by making sure my relationship with it remains wholesome, I want to talk more about the range of interests I hold, instead of limiting myself to a box that's becoming ever constricting as my life changes and progresses. I started this blog with no intention of it being a lolita-focused one, and if I'm honest with myself, I think it ended up going in that direction because it seemed like the easiest thing to do at times. I got into a habit of trying not to include too many things that don't have a direct connection to lolita. It's easier to get comments and discussion going on lolita-specific posts than the other interests I've discussed in the past. But why should I worry about numbers? I write because I enjoy it, not because I have any plans to become a professional blogger!  I ought to be a little less self conscious and just go with the flow!

There's things I need to write because... I need to write them. The desire is there, and I know I will feel better for having put my thoughts out there.

I have so many ideas and interests and there are a multitude of facets to my personality that I'm really excited to share. I hope you will stay with me for the journey. It's December and yet I feel a real sense of new beginnings. Well, nobody can say that 2016 was a year that stuck to the rules!

Me on an average chilly, makeup-less, squinty Saturday at home. I had just washed my car in the freezing cold at this point, Could barely feel my fingers, but it was therapeutic. 

Maybe I ought to re-introduce myself for a start. My name is Shalisa. I'm twenty-three years old. I have a degree in English Literature, and dream of being self sufficient via owning my own business. I run an online shop in my spare time, and have thus far posted out frilly undies and whimsical accessories to people in several different countries, had a collection of my designs for sale in a boutique, and had my first taste of convention seller chaos this past summer. I am so hungry for more of that indie brand life! I adore photography, and can often be found taking pictures of trees throughout the autumn. I am a witch, and regularly do rituals, cast spells, do tarot readings, and research on different spiritual paths as it keeps me feeling positive and grounded. My music faves include Fall Out Boy, Foxy Shazam, and The Darkness (who I plan on seeing live soon!) as well as a whole host of other rock, pop, punk and alternative shite. I adore alternative fashion, and sweet lolita is my main squeeze. My bit on the side consists of colourful vintage knitwear and clashing patterns galore. I'm an over-thinker with a passion for writing and a never-ending desire to be the best me that I possibly can. It's really nice to meet you. I hope this isn't a quarter life crisis!

To end, I'd love to hear from you: Do you ever go through these self analytical phases where you question your relationship with your hobbies/various aspects of your life? Have you ever taken a break from lolita/your hobby? Did it fix the problem?

Thank you so much for reading, and I'll see you next time (which will be soon! I will be bringing the festive cheer so get ready!) Take care until then, my lovely readers