Sunday, December 31, 2017

My 2017

End of the year reflection time again!
Click here to read about My 2016 and My 2015.

Favorite purchases
- Liz Lisa strawberry gingham OP in red, Liz Lisa gingham ribbon cardigan in red, Liz Lisa tulle can can hat in red: Although no pictured together above (sorry), I love wearing these together as a set! I'm a bit of a sucker for red and gingham and simply adore the design of this OP. There are a few minor changes I would make to it if I could, but the shape and style of it are really great. I was hesitant to spend the money on the red cardigan since it didn't seem as versatile as I would have liked, but I've since found numerous uses for it, and I absolutely love it. The hat just helps complete the look, and similar to the cardigan, I'm happy to have found it useful in other coordinates as well!
- Liz Lisa sweet latte OP in pink, Liz Lisa sweet latte cardigan in white: This is somewhat of another set but from the autumn season! I love how these two items complement each other without being in-your-face matchy matchy from a distance. The sweet latte OP has a fantastic print and has so many wonderful details. Like the red cardigan, I thought this sweet latte one might be too specific because of the chocolate buttons, but they're really just a cute addition to whatever I wear with the cardigan! This is the first year I've paid full price for cardigans like this but I have no regrets.
- Liz Lisa 3-strap pumps in pink and bordeaux: I couldn't pick just one and both of these have been very useful to me this autumn/winter and match with so much of my wardrobe. The design is simple but still really cute which makes them extremely versatile. It doesn't hurt that they're also pretty comfortable as well.
- Knot (custom) rose gold watch: Purchased in January this year during my trip, and I haven't stopped wearing it since. It's much more lightweight compared to my previous daily watch and simpler as well but I don't mind that at all. It's reliable and great for just letting me know what time it is which is really all I need lol. It's essentially on my wrist almost every time I leave the house!

Favorite OOTDs
There's a bit of an assortment as always and I had trouble picking just 9, but these are the ones that seemed to stand out to me for some reason or another! I especially love the split pants outfit and the One Spo set up outfit but that's probably also because they're more recent coordinates and I have fond memories tied to them. In general, I was happy to create outfits with some of the same items I had from previous years with small adjustments for one or two new items.

I was very fortunate to be able to travel quite a bit this year. If you're interested in any of my trips, I would highly encourage you to check out each blog post series yourself! I put the most effort of any type of post into these trip ones, and I hope they will be useful to others. The first post in each series is linked below.
- Japan trip Winter: January 2017, shopping in Tokyo, Yokohama inner city zoo, Jigokudani snow monkey park, capybara in an onsen & more
- Japan trip Spring: March 2017, Hiroshima Peace Museum, Itsukushima shrine, MariCAR go-cart tour, Nagoya Aquarium, Strawberry picking & more
- East Coast trip: May 2017 (personal family trip)
- Japan trip Summer: July 2017, Hiking Mt.Fuji overnight & various shopping

I managed to hit my (at minimum) 6 posts per month quota for the second year in a row! In fact, more than half of the months in this year had 7 or more posts for which I kind of want to pat myself on the back. As I've mentioned time and time again, blogging is a just hobby for me (one in which I basically invest all my free time towards) but I do enjoy producing different kinds of content. I hope you enjoyed reading it! There were some small things I felt stood out a little differently this year than in the past that I want to mention in this 2017 wrap up ~
- Survey "Emiiichan Blog Survey": I've done casual requests for feedback before, but this was the first time I did a slightly more formal survey. I was really struggling with my content for a while this year, and I really wanted to know more about what you guys wants to read and see. Thank you to everyone who took the time to complete the survey. Your comments were all very helpful and although I wasn't able to initiate everything this year, I will keep them in mind going forward.
- Sarahah "Leave a constructive message :)": This was trending for a while, and I really enjoyed getting feedback from all kinds of different people, some of which I think weren't comfortable to otherwise talk to me directly without the anonymous veil. I understand that myself which is why I made my own account. Although it wasn't meant for this purpose, after feeling self-conscious about certain things this year, the feedback I received was very helpful for the most part, and I appreciate anyone who took the time to leave me a message. I did accidentally open a can of worms with one or two responses for which I am sorry, but all-in-all, I have no regrets and was able to have several illuminating conversations as a result.
- Giveaway 1 "Emiii's 2017 Giveaway": The last giveaway I had was many years ago, and I really wanted to do something small to show my appreciation for the support I received this year. I was happy that there were a decent number of entries/interest, and although the prizes were small, I hope the winners enjoyed them!
- Giveaway 2 "Emiiichan (BLOG ONLY!) small giveaway": Again, I was just really feeling supported this year, and I wanted to express my thanks - in particular to those of you who actually read this blog. I was surprised by the response and am happy I decided to go through with it.  
- Favorite posts: After all that boring administrative stuff, ofc I also wanted to mentions some posts I personally really enjoyed writing/creating this year - Hiking Mt Fuji to see the sunrise, 2017 One Spo fukubukuro reveal & coordinates, Ank Rouge sailor top & skirt, TKL order 56 behind the scenes . As has become the pattern, most of these are not Liz Lisa order/coordinate posts, but that's why they stand out to me the most. Share with me your favorite 2017 post if you have one!

Personal life
- Work: I've been at my current job (at this current position) for over a year now, and I really enjoy it. The work isn't super rewarding or exciting, but I have fantastic coworkers and a great work environment. I was writing an email to an old friend the other day and I remarked to him, "I laugh and smile at work every day". I've always been very realistic about work (knowing that it was a necessity and that it was more important to always have a job and be making money rather than only taking positions that are 1000% fantastic) but I think I've really hit a happy medium in this case. Although there isn't a TON of room for growth in terms of upward mobility, I'm in a comfortable position here, and there are so many things to learn and ways for me to grow in other ways.
- Japanese class: Based on a recommendation, I signed up for a weekend (Saturday only) Japanese language class through the Outreach branch of a local university. It was a 10-week course with 10-2.75 hour classes focused mainly on communicating in Japanese. I've always been self-conscious about my Japanese language skills as someone who is yonsei (4th generation Japanese-American) when I visit Japan and given the opportunity, I was certainly interested in trying it. However, I didn't enjoy it. Not because of the subject matter (which I really enjoyed while I was actually a college student), but it ended up not being a learning environment conducive to the kind of learner I am. I'm glad I tried it, and even though I was uncomfortable at times and really didn't want to for various reasons, I stuck it out & went to each class session. Although it's a great opportunity for those who can thrive in that kind of environment and are motivated enough, I decided not to enroll for the next semester.
- Friends: I'm very thankful for my friends who have been there for me when I needed them and even when I didn't. I'm also lucky to have met and become closer to some people who I didn't even know existed before 2017! Although I may be distant at times and sometimes have a hard time putting myself out there and prioritizing my time properly, I really appreciate anyone who has made the effort to reach out to me and even just have a small chat. It's great to be surrounded by so many loyal, determined and hard-working people who inspire me every day.

Thoughts for 2018
- 2017 goals achieved? To an extent. I would not call 2017 a "success" per se, but I have some accomplishments I'm proud of and family and friends who unfailingly support me. I cannot ask for more.
I don't yet have many specific hopes for 2018. I had a few plans for next year that I have recently decided to rescind/revise based on an unexpected turn of events, and I plan to take each day one at a time.

Wishing you all health and happiness in the new year! May 2018 be filled with new experiences, opportunities for enrichment and lots and lots of laughter.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Tokyo Kawaii Life order 61 - Liz Lisa message embroidery cross pumps & ribbon line momonga cardigan

It's almost never economically beneficial to just randomly browse a web shop. I made this small order because I had my eye on these two items earlier but they had sold out while I was still thinking about it. With a second opportunity, I thought it wouldn't hurt to get them, but because of the size of the shoe box, I ended up not qualifying for small package size mail despite being under weight.

Message embroidery cross pumps in pink (175-9602-0)

with Liz Lisa x My Melody 6th collab vol 1 sweets OP and Liz Lisa fur collar cardigan -

with Liz Lisa x Yui Kanno collab stripe flower OP and Liz Lisa heart applique blouson -

with Liz Lisa sweet latte OP, Liz Lisa sweet latte cardigan, Liz Lisa sweet latte necklace and Liz Lisa ribbon embroidery beret -
I had tried these on during my Summer 2017 trip as part of a communication misunderstanding thanks to my terrible Japanese, but since the 3-strap pumps were a much, much larger priority for me at the time, I never went back to them. I was surprised to see them restocked when I was browsing TKL, and although there was no particular reason to it, I decided to get them. I always find pink shoes useful and although these are quite seasonal due to the pom poms, I thought the color would be nice to have in my wardrobe.

Ribbon line momonga cardigan in pink (175-3003-0)

with Liz Lisa lace sleeveless top, Liz Lisa floral sukapan and Liz Lisa message embroidery cross pumps -

with Liz Lisa x My Melody x Little Twin Stars triple collab angel OP and Liz Lisa knot wedge sandals -

with Liz Lisa ribbon OP and Liz Lisa many ribbon pumps + Samantha Vega pass case medium purse -
I love how easy momonga cardigans are to throw on, but both of ones I own in this kind of style are white/off white (as is the case with the majority of my cardigans). I really wanted to try something a little different and I loved the type of pink that this particular piece appeared to be (in the stock photos anyway). In person, the pink is a lot deeper than I anticipated. I'll still find a few uses for it but not as many as I anticipated.

I had an intended purpose for the shoes but no longer, so this was a wholly unnecessary order. As always, I do enjoy adding variety to my wardrobe but I probably could have convinced myself away from buying these items if I thought more about it and had known about the shipping cost. It's always interesting to see all the different types of shades that Liz Lisa calls "pink".