Thursday, February 28, 2019

February 2019 - Liz Lisa, Ank Rouge & DreamV buys + a busy work month

Somehow it seems like January passed really quickly! Before I knew it, February was here and even though it has the least amount of days, this month felt extra long to me :| I didn't even get to work on this post as much as I wanted to because I had a lot going on, but I want to try to keep the momentum moving forward for the year!

Purchases
Looking at this now, I bought a lot more stuff over the course of the month than I realized at the time of the individual buys. Although I don't have any regrets about the spending because I'm comfortable with the amount I paid, blogging might actually help keep me in check, lol.
Ank Rouge moon feather OP in navy (secondhand - Depop)
I've had half an eye on this dress/print since it was released and almost bought it several times, but was always stopped by the price since I wasn't sure about the fit. Finally found it secondhand for a price I was willing to pay in my first color choice - navy! Unfortunately, it really is a bit baggy on me as I kind of expected (Ank Rouge OPs never fit me just right but I was kind of hoping it would just magically work out) since I like things with a defined waist to actually hug my waist, but overall, it's not a bad dress and I really like the horoscope themed print.

Liz Lisa strawberry bonbon OP in pink (secondhand - Depop)
Bought this just on a whim when I saw it come up on Depop new with tags! I missed out on it from Tokyo Kawaii Life because I was unwilling to pay the retail price at the time, but made a jump at this opportunity. I still don't overly love the contrasting hem but I do really like the cut and fit of this OP. The pink colorway reminds me a lot of the rabbit ribbon jumperskirt (probably just because of the pink and red) which I sold a while ago, so I'm happy to have this.

DreamV (NewlyMe) cross strap pumps in red enamel [link]
I went on another clearing spree and ended up getting rid of my red Liz Lisa heart suede pumps...and then realizing I still wanted a red shoe lol. It was about time for a new pair anyway and I hadn't touched the Liz Lisa ones in awhile (which may have been a seasonally specific pause but, oops). I went to browse DreamV again after not finding something I wanted from Liz Lisa or Ank Rouge and was excited to find these!
I would have preferred a smooth (faux) leather rather than the "enamel" patent leather for a red shoe, but on a scale of things, I decided it didn't matter because I liked the style and design of the pump a lot otherwise.

DreamV (NewlyMe) cross strap pumps in black smooth [link]
Once the red pair arrived and I wore them out, I knew I liked these shoes enough to get another pair in black! I prefer this style more than the black pair I bought last month, and luckily I was able to find a new home for those. This cross strap design is a bit easier to wear and therefore more comfortable as well.

Liz Lisa 3 ribbon pumps in pink (secondhand - Depop)
I was in the market for a pair of neutral-ish pink pumps and was super happy to find these on Depop. The seller was super nice and shipped really quickly. I have a some specific outfits in mind for these and hopefully everything pans out later.

Using Mintkismet Shopping Service -
(I previously reviewed Mintkismet Shopping Service here and would certainly recommend her especially for Mercari purchases!)
Liz Lisa big ribbon beret in white (secondhand - Mercari)
This beret was released at the same time as the bear book series (AW16) and I had the opportunity to get it in red back when I was in Japan in January 2017, and I always kick myself for passing on it. My true WTB for this beret was the white color though. I have a white Liz Lisa beret but I was stupid and sent it through the wash without thinking so ofc it shrank! Although Liz Lisa releases a lot of white berets, this one with the big ribbon has been on my mind because it seems really versatile and not so seasonally specific! I was so happy I was able to find it on Mercari in new condition.

MocA Tokyo Open Heart Freesize Ring in yellow gold
Since I was already getting something shipped, I decided to ask Danielle to get this ring for me as well since I didn't think it would add to the package weight very much. I follow @mocatokyo on Instagram and I've really fallen in love with some of their rings and earrings! I've said many many times before that I'm not an accessories person and I firmly believe that's still true but they've really sold me with their styling and posts. I think I could probably order from their online shop myself and ship to Tenso, but with Tenso's fees and having to pay separate postage, I thought it would be simpler and cheaper for Danielle to just purchase it for me.

Ank Rouge key emboridery cardigan in black (secondhand - Mercari)
Last item I asked Danielle to get for me was this black cardigan! Since I got the black version of the gingham cafe skirt last month and am trying to up my black sweeter wardrobe, I realized I needed a suitable cardigan. As someone who wears a cardigan almost every day, I obviously own two black cardigans already, but nothing in the right cut/short length to go with high waisted skirts! It was a hard decision for which black cardigan to get because Ank Rouge has released so many that fit my exact need that are available on Mercari right now, but I ended up going with what I think is the safest choice since I already own this exact same cardigan in blue and the listing said this one was NWoT.

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Outfit photos
I don't have individual try-on photos this month, but I did try to get some quick examples of me wearing some of the items + just actual outfits I wore! Newly purchased items are marked with *
Ank Rouge blouse, Liz Lisa watermark cardigan, Liz Lisa ice cream skirt and Liz Lisa double ribbon clear heel sandals
This is just an outfit I wore to work! I asked my bf to take my picture when we got home so that I could have content lol. It's not super special but it was still fun to wear.

Ank Rouge moon feather OP*, Liz Lisa peplum cardigan, Coach mini Bennet satchel, Liz Lisa glitter pumps
We were having a bit of a cold front (aka low 60s at night and early morning) so I thought it would be good to wear this longer cardigan with the Ank dress to work. I chose a gold purse and gold detailed shoes to bring out the gold/yellow color in the print!

Liz Lisa sleepy bunny OP and Liz Lisa 3D flower pumps
I posted about this OP last month but I actually took the leap and wore it...pretty much exactly as I styled it in the try on photo, but my hair is nicer so I wanted to post these too. It was kind of a mistake because it was so hot this day (after being so chilly for the 4 days prior), but at least I wore it at all before the full year-round-Hawaii-summer heat comes back for good!

Liz Lisa strawberry bon bon OP*, Liz Lisa gingham ribbon cardigan, Liz Lisa strawberry ribbon barrette, DreamV cross strap pumps*
Wore this to work for Valentines Day! I'm so glad I received the pumps in time and the 3 days prior to Feb 14, I was totally itching to wear this outfit. A lot of people commented about how obviously "on theme" I was with the colors. We even had a really nice rainbow when we came back from work to feature in the photos :)

Liz Lisa sweet latte OP, Liz Lisa sweet latte cardigan, Liz Lisa 3-strap pumps, Kate Spade New York quilted clasp purse
I realized I hadn't worn this dress in a while, so I decided to throw it on and wore it to work. I love pairing it with the matching cardigan so that was an easy decision for me. If I didn't have the strawberry bon bon dress, I probably would have worn this OP for Valentines Day since it has pink and chocolates in the print!

Delyle Noir off shoulder lace top, Delyle Noir watercolor floral skirt, Delyle Noir bijou buckle belt, DreamV cross strap pumps*
I wore this outfit twice this month actually lol. Once for my bf's birthday dinner with his family (although with white pumps since the red ones hadn't come in yet) and once when we went out to dinner with his friends who were visiting from WA. Photos didn't come out as nicely as I was expecting - I think this outfit looks a lot better in person, but I was eager to just wear my new pumps again.

Liz Lisa ice cream OP, Liz Lisa cardigan, Liz Lisa 3 ribbon pumps*, Samantha Vega pass case purse
Wanted to see how comfortable these shoes were, so I put together a simple outfit for work. Although I don't do a lot of walking during my work day, I think I was still able to get an idea of the comfort level and look forward to wearing these a lot more.

Liz Lisa message ribbon sailor collar blouse, Ank Rouge key embroidery cardigan*, Liz Lisa gingham cafe skirt, Liz Lisa many ribbon boater hat, DreamV cross strap pumps*, Liz Lisa big ribbon woven bag
Threw this outfit together to show one example of how I imagined wearing the black cross strap pumps and why I wanted to buy this black cardigan. I'm really happy with both and am actively looking for more sweet style items in a black colorway now that I have some great accessories to pair with them.

Rojita floral romper*, Ank Rouge key embroirdery cardigan, Liz Lisa big ribbon beret*, Liz Lisa knot wedge sandals, Samantha Thavasa purse
I didn't post about this romper in the purchases section because I couldn't find a stock photo and it seemed a little insignificant, but this was another secondhand buy late in the month. I thought it would pair nicely with the beret. Also wearing the same Ank Rouge cardigan as above but in blue!

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Miscellaneous updates
Bf was playing Kingdom Hearts 3 a lot at the beginning of the month! This suited me just fine because I had a ton of work I needed to do that I ended up bringing home almost every day this month and even a lot on the weekend as well.

Made time for a little exercise and made the drive over to Koko Head to just do the stairs hike. There was a lot of rainy, dreary weather that weekend so there were very minimal crowds. Upside was that I was pretty much able to make it all the way up without having to stop for anyone (about 18 min!). Downside was that the tracks were wet and a bit slippery and since it was raining, I didn't want to take my phone with me lol. All I have is this photo from the parking lot.

Bf's parents got a little corgi puppy! His name is Benedict lol.

Chinese/Lunar New Year was on Feb 5 this year! My mom's side (the Chinese side lol) usually gathers for dinner, but it was delayed because of some illness and travel. We celebrated late by just going out to a Chinese restaurant and enjoying each others company.

My bf's birthday was near the beginning of the month and although we didn't have big plans coming into it, we went out to dinner with just the two of us and then dinner with his family the next night.

Valentine's Day! My bf asked me what I wanted to do and I told him that I wanted to repeat what we did last year - go to WalMart to get (not super expensive) ballooons and take them to my office and give them to people in my working group/cubicle aisle! (Building is way too big to buy balloons for every single person.)
Photo of me in lazy-after-work clothes on the night before
We bought the balloons and then went on the night of the 13th to distribute them so everyone would see them first thing in the morning on the 14th!
Photo from last year on Valentines Day at work  --> Photo from this year on Valentines Day at work

I got a new hydroflask because an Instagram ad actually worked on me lmao. My old one had some damage and no longer insulates, and the "lilac" color was enough to sell me on this. Idk if this is supposed to go in the purchases section, but to me it's more like a miscellaneous update lol.
My photo has a filter on it but I don't think the stock photo is super accurate for color either. It's definitely more of a greyish lavender imo. I still like it a lot though!

We did two puzzles! I know this doesn't sound fun but there's something about them that gives me a sense of productivity. I guess it's because you can see all your effort manifesting something immediately. Geometric puzzle is 500 pieces and we finished it in like 2-3 hours. I thought it was going to be a lot harder than it was. After doing that one, we bought the underwater puzzle which is 1500 and is wayyyy more difficult lmao. Finished it in within a 24 hour period though!

Overall, this was a very exhausting month for me with my job. I'm fortunate that I get paid for the overtime hours that I work, but with how the calculations pan out, I actually get paid a little bit less per hour for my OT hours than my regular work hours lmao. It doesn't always really seem worth it, BUT I'll still take that instead of not getting paid for my overtime at all. Did about 20 additional hours per week which really took a toll. Although I still had some free time, I was more irritable and short tempered with all the extra stuff I had to do and some of my regular non-work responsibilities definitely fell through the cracks. Unfortunately, March isn't looking any better work-wise (if anything, expecting it to be the same or worse with the deadline coming up), so I'm really looking forward to April!

Thursday, January 31, 2019

January 2019 - Liz Lisa gingham cafe, sleepy bunny, New Years & the Return to Blogging

It's a new year, so I'm going to try something new! I had a lot of fun keeping up with my year with the "My 2018" post but don't want to have to wait all year to post it and have it be a massive post no one wants to read. Instead, I plan to do small monthly life updates in a similar, casual style with more off-the-cuff photos and writing.

Liz Lisa / other shopping purchases
Since this blog was originally for shopping/purchase related mini-reviews, I want to continue to do a small section of that - but much, much abbreviated. I won't be doing a full variety coordinates, but I do want to share with you things that I purchased and have the opportunity to chat with people about them if interested! (This is also just a good opportunity to store stock photos and item names.)

Order 1 - Liz Lisa gingham cafe skirt in black (191-4001-0), Liz Lisa many ribbon boater hat in black (181-9501-0), Liz Lisa collar ribbon cutsew in white (183-2028-0)
My first time trying out black Liz Lisa items! Actually, I wasn't really smitten with the black colorway of the gingham cafe skirt when it was released, but my bf seemed to like it and the more I thought about it, the more it grew on me. I also wanted to get a top and accessory to match with it, so I scoured the outlet and was happy to find a simple blouse and hat that fit my needs.

Order 1a - DreamV Back laceup pumps in black [Rakuten shop]
I knew that I also didn't have the right kind of shoe to go with a sweeter black outfit, so I looked through a few different brand webstores, comtemplated my budget and ended up with this pair from DreamV/Yumetenbo (Diablo Baiser is the sub brand).
I haven't ordered from DreamV in a while, but the global Rakuten is fairly straightfoward although the shipping isn't the cheapest. Still, not too bad for a pair of shoes considering I don't need a forwarding service. The quality and comfort of the pumps are on par with the pricing, which is to say they're not A++, but I can live with it. (I personally find Liz Lisa shoes more comfortable even at the same height due to the design considerations.)

Like I mentioned, I can't commit to any coordinate photos for these posts, but I did make it a point to wear this combo to work just to have a quick try on pic! Wore all the items together as intended but I know there will definitely be other uses for these separately as well. I like the gingham cafe skirt more in person that I anticipated and am happy with the fit and design. The top I feel is a little weird because the ribbon is just stuck on there and seems too low compared to the collar but I was too lazy to resew it before wearing. The hat is exactly as expected and I look forward to wearing it more this summer!

Order 2 - Liz Lisa sleepy bunny sukapan in white (187-5010-0), Liz Lisa smokey color pom pom beret in pink (185-9503-0), Liz Lisa wrapping print iPhone case in lavender (181-9702-0)
I really liked the sleepy bunny print when it was first released, so when the webstore restocked the white sukapan and the pom pom beret magically restocked in pink as well, I figured that was the time. I threw the phone case in because the one I'm currently using has a crack on it that keeps getting stuck on fabrics.

Wore the sukapan with the Liz Lisa ribbon sailor collar blouse, Ank Rouge key embroidery cardigan, Liz Lisa clear heel sandals and Samantha Vega pass case purse. Luckily the Ank Rouge cardigan blue matches perfectly with the blue in the print so I can add some color to the outfit! Although I didn't wear the beret out yet, it's pretty purpley IRL - even deeper of a "pink" than many other autumn pinks imo. I still have items to wear it with, but just not the ones I was expecting to.

Order 3 - [Re-release] Liz Lisa sleepy bunny OP in navy (191-6024-0)
Ngl I was initially excited when Liz Lisa announced a re-release of the sleepy bunny OP in navy and pink. I didn't buy right away though because I had convinced myself that I really didn't need a long sleeve OP (actually purged all of them from my closet just at the end of last year). And yet here it is. I loved the navy version of this print and had settled for the sukapan in white but was happy to have the opportunity for OP in navy which was my original WTB for this series. (Not sure why they re-released it with a spring item number, although my guess is just so it doesn't qualify for the AW sales.)

I received this dress very close to the end of the month, so I haven't had a chance to actually wear it out yet, but the day it arrived, I ran to try it on and ask my bf to take a photo for me lol. Weather is actually pretty warm for us already, so I don't know if this will just sit in my closet for a while. I got the freesize version and it's actually finally a recognizable freesize for me. Waist isn't too tight but still close to fitted and the length is not unusually long. There's lots of room in the sleeves as well! I just adore the print on the navy background and I'm very happy to have this despite anticipating very few opportunities to wear it.

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New Years Celebrations
The big event in January is the new year of course! I eluded to this at the end of my "My 2018" post, but I went to celebrate the New Year with my bf's family on the Big Island this year for 5 days.
His mother's side of the family typically all gathers at his grandmother's house to celebrate, but we also did a quick overnight trip to Kona in a rented Airbnb as well. There was about 18 people in the house which someone easily fit all of us!
The Big Island is the only island in the state where you can still pretty much go ham with the fireworks (although you still need a permit for the firecrackers). I haven't experienced a NYE like this in a long time thanks to the ban, so it was really nogstalic for me even though I was in a totally new situation!
We also did things like temple visits, pound mochi and his uncle even made an imu which had a pig, frozen turkey and some fruit in it.
I missed being with my family a lot since New Years is largely thought of a family holiday/occasion in Hawaii, but I think it was certainly worthwhile to spend it with my bf and their family at least for this year.

#10yearchallenge / #howharddidiage 
This was trending in early January but I didn't feel like making a real post about it. A quick share here seems more appropriate for me!
There didnt seem to be a lot of consistency between posting 2008 or 2009 and 2018 or 2019 as far as I could tell, but I found a photo from early in 2009 and one from late in 2018 that I feel should count! I've posted older photos of me before ("My fashion look back"), so I'm sure this won't be that surprising for some of you, but it is kind of interesting to see them side by side!
One big change, if you can even call it that, is that I typically go with shorter bangs now and enjoy a my natural hair color a lot more lol. I also spend a bit less time in the sun/try to keep my skin more protected these days than before when I used to run cross country.

Miscellaneous updates
Had to go to Kauai again for a day trip for work. The weather was super nice and clear that day. The concept of jumping on a plane almost essentially as a means of commute is such a crazy idea to me, but it really worked out for what we had to do that day (just a handful of hours but time sensitive). 

My Fitbit Alta HR battery life was pretty terrible (lasting 2-3 days at the most), so I contacted the customer service and after running a quick test, I was sent a new "pebble". When I mentioned that the band was also cracking, they sent me a replacement for that as well. Both were still under warranty so it was at no cost to me, but hopefully these last more than a year because I really like a lot of the features!

Saw an article on Facebook for these Pokemon themed Pillsbury shape cookies and set a mental reminder to look for them since bf loves these cookies. Surprisingly found them just a week or so later at a local grocery store (we usually get stuff last in HI) and bought and made them immediately!

Celebrated our relationship anniversary! We went to eat dinner at Tonkatsu Ginza Bairin in Waikiki. And my coworkers got me some balloons because they're corny like that lmao.

I did some reorganizing over the MLK Jr. long weekend! Bf went on a trip to Washington with his college friends and I had the house to myself. The Konmari craze was pretty big at this time with the Netflix show premiering and even though I'd bought the book for my mom and bf had the manga version, I've never fully gotten into it. Truthfully, I watched 1 episode just because I knew it would make me get my ass in gear, and it did!
I'm not really following the process at all really, but just using it as inspiration to just...do stuff which I think is still pretty good. I went through the master bathroom sink cabinets and drawers first since that was the worst. That took a good 90 minutes which was longer than I expected lol. The next day I made my way over to my clothes (Liz Lisa stuff, other closet, drawers), sorting and getting rid of things along the way and listing items on Depop. Following day included just reorganizing my bfs clothes since I couldn't make any spark joy decisions for him. Just made hangers nicer, sorted by type and folded better for his drawers and closet. Last was the kitchen pantry which was a huge mess since we moved in and just threw whatever would fit in there. I now have an entirely empty shelf (which is not pictured, but it's there now I swear)!
I still have quite a few more rooms to do, but I think I made pretty good progress for just one weekend. Planning to tackle the other bathroom, linen closet, spare bedroom and storage closet next.

I went hiking with my coworker and her bf during the long weekend as well!
I haven't seen her in a while so it was good to just do some exercise and catch up at the same time. The hike wasn't too strenuous so it was easy to have a conversation while we were walking. I look like a giant next to her sometimes I s2g.

We went to 53 by the Sea to celebrate my bf's brother-in-law's birthday. It was a small gathering with just the family. This is a super popular restaurant for birthdays and anniversaries lately it seems. There's a great view of Diamond Head and an iconic staircase where most people take pictures for IG lol.

Spent a lot of the weekends this month at the soccer field! Bf was playing in an adult AYSO league and also in a more competitive men's league, so there were games on both Saturdays and Sundays. Even though I used to play when I was younger, I'm happy to sit on the sidelines (in the shade!) and just watch these days.


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The Return to Blogging
The end of 2018 and the start of 2019 marked my return to blogging after what was essentially a year of silence on social media. I was a bit nervous but had a feeling that the worst thing that could happen would be 0 views. And even at that, I'm still trying hard to write mostly for myself, so I should (in theory) be happy with what I've written even if no one sees it.

I was pleasantly surprised with how the "Why I stopped blogging" post did on its own (no boosting on my part) and how many people were able to find it. I felt like all of the comments I received were very heartwarming and made me miss blogging a lot. When I posted the "My 2018" post, tbh I expected to receive similar feedback or maybe even more? but I think the length of it really discourages people from actually reading and maybe the title is not that intriguing? That being said, that was the post I was most excited to publish and share and had literally been working on it all year.
So that's why I wanted to call attention to it by posting on my IG story. I really do truly feed on attention. But all-in-all, I can't complain after being dormant for a year.

I also did a quick Q&A on my IG story for the first time. I always felt like I'd be disappointed with getting 0 replies, so I've never done one before. But one day I was bored and figured it was a good time to give it a shot.
Thank you to everyone who sent in a response! I had a lot of fun trying to find the right photo or video when I was answering. I really hope to be interacting with people more on social media when I use it (instead of just lurking) and even though this was a bit one sided

I still don't feel like I can fully commit to the type of posting and how I was using social media before. I've just mostly been lurking more, actually staying signed into my account, liking a few things here and there, but haven't wanted to do a "regular" post. I guess I'm afraid of getting sucked back in and checking how much interaction the posts get and that mattering way too much to me. I even backpeddled on posting just this because it felt like too much and I was feeling a bit exposed for some reason, but I need to just calm TF down and try it out and see where it takes me.

Please leave me your feedback! It truly helps