Saturday, December 31, 2016

My 2016

I wrote a version of this post for the first time last year, and I kind of enjoyed it as a summary of the year, so I'm going to do it again! ✧ Read about "My 2015" here

Favorite Purchases
My favorite purchases from 2016 in no particular order -
Row 1: This Liz Lisa 3-way trench coat wasn't high on my "must buy" list but I have been wanting a cute trench for a while now (for no particular reason) and I really liked the versatility of this one and how it was promoted during the early Autumn 2016 releases. I ended up grabbing it on a whim and it was really useful during my East Coast trip in Thanksgiving which made it a very worthwhile purchase. The Liz Lisa fruit water jumper skirt + flare sleeve top set up also didn't really appeal to me at first but as I saw more of it, I knew I had to have it and I was lucky to be able to grab it in store. I was wearing it for one of my favorite photos taken during that trip (Japan trip Spring 2016 Day 7). Yet again, this Liz Lisa bordeaux puff sleeve dress was cute but not a huge must buy but I ended up loving it in person/worn! The color has just the right amount of warmness irl and the design is simple but flattering. It can easily be an autumn dress but also work for Christmas when coordinated correctly!
Row 2: Another bought on a whim item (sensing a trend?), this Liz Lisa fur collar cardigan worked perfectly for my Spring Japan trip and I've been loving using it as an option for blog post variety as well because it somehow makes the outfit instantly more "winter" haha. The One Spo heart buckle set was love at first sight for me when I saw it on twitter but it sold out early on the website and I painfully had to keep checking back for a restock. Effort well worth it. I love the pieces together and separately paired with other items, especially the top with a long chiffon skirt! The Liz Lisa glen check cape OP was hard to resist and I'm glad I had the opportunity to get it after hesitating for so long thanks to all the TKL restocks. The fit isn't A+ but I also didn't expect it to be and I'm really happy with it for what it is.
Row 3: The Liz Lisa paper can can hat was my first hat purchase in a while and I knew I wanted to purchase it during my Spring Japan trip. It was a great accessory on the last day with my Delyle Noir outfit and I love it for summer looks! Thank goodness I was able to snag these pink Liz Lisa pom pom pumps on Yahoo Auctions and didn't miss out on them completely. I love the IRL color and they're great for travel bc of the straps and stability and the ease with which I can match it with other Liz Lisa items.
Row 4: Ofc bordeaux was a highlight this year for me so I have to include two major accessories purchases that bolster my bordeaux (detailed) outfits - Liz Lisa lace up pom pom pumps and Liz Lisa x Yui Kanno collab ribbon barrette. They also match really well with each other even thought they're from different years.
Not pictured: My gold Michael Kors purse which I started using almost daily for work. I love the color, shape and size and it's quite versatile! It ended up being useful on my East Coast trip as well.

Favorite Outfits
My favorite outfits from 2016 in no particular order -
I think some of these already highlight some of my favorite purchases from above and kind of just shows why I like them lol. The particular stand outs for me in this bunch are the Liz Lisa closet OP ootd (2nd row, leftmost) and the One Spo heart buckle choker top + Charlotte Russe tulle skirt ootd (2nd row, rightmost). Both are slightly out of my comfort zone in different ways. It's really silly but I feel really weird/slightly insecure(?) wearing long sleeve tops/dresses when I'm in Hawaii but this autumn/winter, I wanted to try and branch out more and try it! I'm glad I did bc the closet OP is such a nice fit and it would be a pity for me to have sold it just bc of the sleeves or not sold it and just let it sit. I slowly want to become more comfortable with wearing long sleeves while I'm out and about! The longer skirt thing was also an unusually insecure tick for me - for years I avoided anything that was too much longer than mid-thigh (outrageous I know) because I thought it made me look unbelievably stumpy. I'm glad I found two longer tulle skirts that I like and even a Liz Lisa maxi dress (3rd row, rightmost) this year!

Compared to last year, I didn't travel as much (to Japan)! But I guess you can say I traveled way too much last year, so that's not really a fair comparison.
With my Japan trip in late May this year, I was able to cross Hokkaido off my bucket list! We booked a flight that had us arriving at CTS in Sapporo and then flying out of KIX in Osaka which allowed us to spend 3 days in Sapporo, 1 day in Hakodate, 2.5 days in Tokyo and then 2.5 days in Osaka/Kyoto! It was great to be able to catch the Shinkansen from the north all the way down and forwarding our luggage ahead of us along the way. I was able to do a lot of siteseeing aside from just shopping and it was great to be in the brisk Hokkaido weather. I also got to visit Tokyo DisneySea for the second time but this time it was with S and my parents and I was so happy to introduce them to it!
The East Coast trip was a family trip and I didn't have enough to blog about it to make it a full series but it ended up just being an elongated photo dump lol. I had so much fun dressing for autumn weather with all of my new Liz Lisa AW16 European Time Trip items with the featured color being bordeaux. I broke in my lace up pom pom pumps and also legitimized my trench coat purchase!

I have to admit that my love for blogging wavered at times throughout this year. Idk if maybe I was just putting too much pressure on myself for certain things or maybe it was the feedback that I received on different occasions, but I did find myself questioning whether I really wanted to continue to consistently do this a couple times. That being said, I managed to pull through with the minimum 6 posts per month that I was aiming for, with about half the months of the year having more. Since I only went on one major trip this year (blogging-wise), I feel like that's pretty good since major trips usually have a long chain of related posts as well.
The biggest change for my blogging this year was my new affiliation with Tokyo Otaku Mode (TOM).
I wrote all about why I decided to become an affiliate and what this means for the blog in the introductory post (read here if you haven't yet and you're seriously disgusted with me for being a TOM flunky but interested to know why), but that's something that's certainly changed my content a little bit. It was a big decision for me and I didn't want it to affect this, but I'm glad that it seems like it was reasonably well received so far. It's meant a different kind of Liz Lisa shopping post from me that involves financial comparison which creates a bit of variety, and also comes with a coupon code every month! Even though I wasn't initially a fan of the company myself, I'm happy to present it as a different option having been able to clear up my hesitations about it with a TOM representative. I'm always open to feedback about this or my blogging in general, so feel free to just shoot me a comment.
I also added a little section at the bottom of the sidebar of my blog to include a "Keeping my eye on/Wishlist" list and a "Purchased/In the mail!" list after someone on Tumblr requested to know what I was (thinking about) purchasing and maybe what would be in an upcoming blog post (that I was backlogged on). I'm sure most people just scroll past it, but I think it's kind of just fun to have for myself and even if I'm the only one who uses it for reference, it's still useful. My "Related posts" widget also decided to malfunction at some point this year and I never went back and tried to recover it/find a new code that worked wtf. Oh, and I almost forgot about the huge fit I had when something happened to Blogger's Simple template that mussed up all of my photo alignment lmao. I was on the Blogger help forums every day for a while trying to figure out a solution that didn't mean me going back to every single post and trying to manually fix the coding. Turns out, it righted itself and I just had an ugly blog for about a week.

Like last year, I wanted to include a few of my favorite blog posts from 2016 here (in chronological order) -
And also like last year, most of these favorites are not Liz Lisa/TKL haul type posts which make up the majority of my blog content but I think that's why they stand out to me! Plus I put a different kind of time and effort into them which just requires me to put more of myself into them as well.

Personal Life
I always have a lot to be thankful for. 2016 was a rockier year compared to 2015 in a number of ways with some family stuff which I don't feel comfortable (and actually shouldn't be) fully addressing in public, but we were able to get through most of it although it will still be ongoing in many ways with the after effects. Sorry to be so vague, but I think it really is for the best. I purposefully try not to bring that kind of stuff into my blogging anyway if I can help it.
In any case, I finally got a permanent position with my employer compared to the contractor position I started at the end of 2015, and it's panning out pretty well. I started working a lot of overtime hours starting from July and continuing throughout the rest of the calendar year (and it will probably continue to the next as well), but it's not taking over my life completely and I mostly enjoy it. There's some critical thinking and problem solving involved, and I feel like I learn about little parts of the job every day. I've been able to bond a lot more with my coworkers and feel a lot more comfortable in the office. Overall, I don't really think I can complain.
The friendships I've held onto have only become more concrete (or grew a bit stronger) and I was happy to do a small scale holiday card exchange with #WSS! Mine were a bit late, but I hope everyone still enjoys getting them. I'm so grateful to have people like you in my life that deal with my constant bitching and complaining lmao.

Thoughts for 2017
Have I achieved what I wanted to do in 2016? A little lol.
I wanted to "keep my wardrobe under control" and I have to admit, I really didn't do that, especially with all the items I couldn't resist from Liz Lisa's Autumn 2016 collection. The holidays snuck up a little faster than I expected this year, so I've stopped really pushing my secondhand sales for the moment because I don't want to deal with the post office and extended shipping times/volume during this time if I can help it, but I do fully intend to pick up the pace once Christmas passes.
I don't see a lot of my wardrobe really transitioning to the otona kawaii side yet, but it's slowly getting there with a handful of pieces that I picked up, especially in spring/summer, and I also branched out a little from my same-old-same-old by ordering from One Spo and blanc Closet. I don't have any real goals in this area but I look forward to seeing where my fashion sense will be in 1 year.
For travel, I was able to check Hokkaido off the list with my spring trip, but Okinawa, Taiwan, Hong Kong and/or China are still on there. Not that I expected to knock off a bunch in 2016, but I am making a small amount of progress! There are a few things in the works for me in 2017 travel-wise but none address the "bucket list" and I'm completely okay with that. (Plus, who knows what'll pop up by the end of the year?)
I did try and introduce a few more posts to the blog that weren't just shopping haul type posts, and I'm quite happy with how it turned out. If I can think of more things to write about, I definitely want to continue doing that. It's also just nice to not have to force myself to take blog posts every weekend, so when I don't have a new item to shoot, I can really focus on the written part. They usually take a little longer to write on a whole, but I don't mind that at all. If I can get one of those type of posts done every couple months or so, I'd be really pleased.
As always, I want to continue to work on my patience and keeping my emotions in check with certain situations. I know I get overly irritated with small little insignificant things, so I want to make sure I do what I can to rid my life of the unnecessary distractions and just focus on the people and things that are important to me.

Last but not least, thank you to all of you who read through my ramblings and continue to visit my blog. Please always feel free to leave feedback or suggestions or just interact with me in general. I know I can come off standoffish at times, but I think it's because I feel the need to present myself a certain way (the internet is forever after all), but I'm almost always open to discussion and conversation!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

OOTD - November & December 2016

This initially seemed like a slow 2 months for outfit photos, but still had a little bit of variety and picked up a bit at the end! At the bottom of this post, I've also included the 6 different Liz Lisa outfits that I wore on my (US) East Coast trip during the Thanksgiving weekend and didn't get to recreate so they're a bit sloppy in terms of formatting but I think you can still see the outfit. The house we stayed in didn't have any full length mirrors that I had access to, and I didn't want to demand a lot of pictures be taken of me besides the ones I had already requested, so I might try to recreate them in "IG format" if I have time, but my hair will never be as good as it was for those days lol.

Outfit 1 (for work) -
Liz Lisa small flower print OP, Liz Lisa lace peek cardigan, Liz Lisa heart suede pumps and Samantha Thavasa purse

Outfit 2 (for church) -
Liz Lisa x Yui Kanno collab stripe flower OP, Liz Lisa x Yui Kanno rose drop cardigan, Liz Lisa flower lace-up back wedge sandals and Liz Lisa thin ribbon boston bag

Outfit 3 (for expo & football game) -
off brand dress, Material Girl faux leather jacket, Nine West ankle boots

Outfit 4 (for work) -
Liz Lisa Cinderella blouse, Liz Lisa Cinderella suspender skirt, Liz Lisa 3D flower pumps and Michael Kors purse

Outfit 5 (for friend's birthday dinner) -
Marilyn Monroe collection @ Macys fitted dress, Flag J sandals and Michael Kors purse

Outfit 6 (for work) -
Liz Lisa constellation OP, Liz Lisa batwing knit, Flag J pumps and Michael Kors purse

Outfit 7 (for training at work) -
Liz Lisa mermaid OP, Liz Lisa peplum cardigan, Liz Lisa 3D flower pumps and Liz Lisa rose quilted purse

Outfit 8 (for training at work) -
Liz Lisa off shoulder ribbon blouse, Liz Lisa batwing knit, Liz Lisa opal flower gingham check skirt, Liz Lisa x My Melody 6th collab bow barrette, Liz Lisa flower lace-up back wedge sandals and Betsey Johnson ribbon bag 

Outfit 9 (for church) -
Liz Lisa cotton frill ribbed blouse, Liz Lisa small floral print skirt, Liz Lisa knot wedge sandals and Samantha Thavasa purse

Outfit 10 (for work) -
Liz Lisa ribbon OP, Liz Lisa x Yui Kanno collab rose drop cardigan, Liz Lisa 3D flower pumps and Kate Spade New York purse

Outfit 11 (for work) -
Liz Lisa frill tulip sleeve blouse, Liz Lisa cut cardigan, Liz Lisa check skirt, Liz Lisa lace up pom pom pumps and Michael Kors purse

Outfit 12 (for work) -
Liz Lisa x My Melody x Little Twin Stars triple collab angel OP, Liz Lisa flower applique cardigan, Liz Lisa clear pearl sandals and Kate Spade New York purse

Outfit 13 (for dinner with friends) -
Liz Lisa shoulder cut out blouse, Liz Lisa floral shorts, Liz Lisa ankle boots

Outfit 14 (for work) -
Liz Lisa x My Melody 5th collab strawberry OP, Liz Lisa 3D flower pumps and Betsey Johnson big ribbon handbag

Outfit 15 (for work) -
Liz Lisa sunflower parfait OP, Liz Lisa flocked cardigan, Liz Lisa flower wedge cage sandals and Samantha Thavasa purse with Champouf and pom pom charm

Outfit 16 (for work) -
Liz Lisa lace blouse, Tralala ribbed cardigan, Liz Lisa 17th anniversary key frame skirt, Liz Lisa (flower) wedge sandals and Liz Lisa 3 piece cup Team C purse

Outfit 17 (for work) -
Liz Lisa flower dot OP, Liz Lisa 3D flower cut cardigan, Liz Lisa 3D flower pumps and Samantha Thavasa bag

Outfit 18 (for work) -
Liz Lisa boa bustier OP and Liz Lisa knee high pom pom boots

Outfit 19 (for work) -
Liz Lisa tulip sleeve blouse, Liz Lisa flare skirt, GAP cardigan, Liz Lisa ribbon pumps and Samantha Thavasa purse
Outfit 20 (for work) -
Liz Lisa x Yui Kanno collab constellation OP, Liz Lisa batwing knit, Liz Lisa ankle socks, Liz Lisa (pom pom) pumps and Kate Spade New York purse
Outfit 21 (for a 1st birthday party) -
Liz Lisa flare sleeve blouse, Liz Lisa fruit water jumper skirt, Liz Lisa clear pearl sandals and Kate Spade New York quilted bag
Outfit 22 (for Christmas) -
Liz Lisa English Rose frill OP, Liz Lisa big ribbon beret, Liz Lisa lace up pom pom pumps and Samantha Vega purse

US East Coast trip OOTDs
Day 1 (travel and settling in) -
 Liz Lisa check top, Liz Lisa check skirt, Liz Lisa lace up pom pom pumps, + Guess? turtleneck, Liz Lisa My Melody 2016 tote fukubukuro, Liz Lisa 2013 fukubukuro trunk, Michael Kors purse

Day 2 (Thanksgiving) -
Liz Lisa pleats puff OP, Liz Lisa 3-way trench (inner piece only then both pieces together), Liz Lisa lace up pom pom pumps (and Michael Kors purse)

Day 3 (family picture and tree picking) -
Liz Lisa cut cardigan, Liz Lisa cat cup skirt, Liz Lisa 3-way trench coat, Liz Lisa lace up pom pom pumps and Michael Kors purse

Day 4 (Ikea) -
Tralala ladder lace top, Liz Lisa sukapan, Liz Lisa 3-way trench coat (top half only), Liz Lisa lace up pom pom pumps and Michael Kors purse

Day 5 (museum visits) -
Liz Lisa glen check cape OP, Liz Lisa 3-way trench (top half only), Liz Lisa x Yui Kanno pom pom ribbon barrette, Liz Lisa lace up pom pom pumps and Michael Kors purse

Day 6 (travel day, back to Hawaii) -
Liz Lisa frill tulip sleeve blouse, Liz Lisa cut cardigan, Liz Lisa 3-way trench coat (top half only), Liz Lisa check skirt, Liz Lisa flower applique beret, Liz Lisa lace up pom pom pumps, Liz Lisa My Melody 2016 fukubukuro tote, Liz Lisa 2013 fukubukuro trunk

Obviously I had staples during my trip and repeat items (trench coat, pumps and purse) but I still enjoyed being able to dress for autumn weather during the trip!

This unexpectedly turned out to not be as bare bones couple of months as I expected. It's surprising because the weather was so terrible in late November/early December! I would wear something I really liked to work or just out and about, and when I came home, there would be dark grey skies or rain that just don't facilitate a good environment for photos. I struggled a bit with blog photos this month as well because of that. I know I shouldn't be so picky sometimes when it comes to that for just casual outfit posts, but it's just really not worth it sometimes for the color to distort the details so much. Hoping for clearer skies in 2017!