Thursday, December 31, 2020

My 2020

Click for past year's wrap ups: [My 2019] [My 2018] [My 2017] [My 2016] [My 2015]

I traditionally do a wrap up personal reflection post for the year, and even when I was doing a hiatus from blogging, I still took the time to do one. This year, 2020, feels different for me for obvious reasons - COVID-19/pandemic and then just some internal stuff making me feel a bit hazy. I guess that's just another sign of this disaster of a year though right? While this post is going to be a bit lackluster on a scale of things, I did want to have something to mark the end of the year.

I'll be honest that I wasn't immediately sure what I want to put into this category. It's usually section that makes the most sense for this blog but I feel very meh about it this year. I did want to give a small shout out to some of these that kind of stood out though - Ted Baker Daaino jumpsuit (honestly probably my favorite clothing purchase this year but I'll probably rarely wear it lol), Laurie Fleming Jewellery customize brilliant daphne ring, Punky Aloha prints in general, iPhone 12 (I really wanted an upgraded camera and definitely the battery sucked on my iPhone 7), EATME cross faux leather belt (which goes with everything EATME) and the variety of Xmas gifts I bought this year (I was really happy with how this turned out!) No Liz Lisa stuff in this category this yea 🤷
[I still have an 8 item EATME package supposedly stuck in US customs in NJ since October (originally shipped from Tenso in August) and I'm SAD because I'm not confident it will ever be recovered 😓 It arrived a couple days ago and I can't wait to share with you next year!]

This category shouldn't really exist this year lol. 
Goes without saying I didn't leave my house nearly as much as I usually do this year due to the "stay at home" and "safer at home" efforts/attitudes. Of course, I could still get dressed to stay in, but tbh I'm really not that kind of person lol. Instead, here are some photos of the times I did end up leaving the house (while maintaining social distancing and respecting our local ordinances) + one of my favorite blog post outfits + a reminder of the at home workouts we did. Since I was trying to record our progress in my stories, I actually put a little effort into what I wore for it and some "outfits" were pretty cute!

Blogging & Social Media
Not much to say for this blog. I did get a ring light and phone tripod to help me out a little (finally) but still figuring out how to best use it to my advantage. I do hate the new Blogger format (on the editing side). I didn't get out as many original content posts as I would have liked, but I did have something every month so I guess it wasn't a complete failure. But overall, no innovations and all is quiet and slow on the Blogger front. I don't really have any solid favorite posts, but I did start using gifs (transformed from short videos) a lot more this year to provide a little more jazz [ex. EATME Wardrobe post]. 
Initially I had a lot of fun when I started doing Reels on Instagram in September just to try it out. I'm kind of going through a lull right now, but it was really keeping me busy for the last few months of the year.
I still have a few ideas but admittedly am getting less and less motivated...part of it is just personal stuff I have going on. It is actually nice that sometimes videos don't take nearly as long as you'd expect (although sometimes they take 8x as long wtf). 

Without wanting to sound like a broken record...obviously this was affected by COVID. Fortunately any planned trips we were able to get fully refunded and some were rescheduled for next year (crossing our fingers). I did still very cautiously travel inter-island this year a few times. Two times for lychee season (where we stayed with my husband's family and mainly remained on the property) and then two instances for work where we did all the pre-travel testing and I remained in my hotel room for the majority of the time I wasn't at the worksite (where I even remained in the rental car for 98% of the time). 

I know some people might think it's stupid to have even taken these minimal flights and, for that reason, I'm hesitant to even write them up, but both instances were for work in a way - they definitely weren't purely for pleasure. We would have happily stayed put if not for that.

Personal life
Honestly not a ton going on this year - and I feel very lucky to say that. I was fortunate to adjust to teleworking in March and was able to retain my current job without interruption. My husband was much in the same boat. 

Our wedding (big event aside from the legal ceremony we had last year) was obviously postponed but originally planned for this year in November. I had a few wedding related posts planned for this blog including one with all the wedding dresses I tried on, but those will be delayed until our rescheduled date. We were reluctant to cancel completely especially with some messages I read from our local wedding vendors about how hard the pandemic is hitting their businesses. I'm sure that our event on our new date will not be like we originally envisioned but we will deal with that when the time comes. We won't be postponing any more than this as we're already married anyway and are eager to get on with our lives.

I did have a knee injury in early September while running that was very limiting for the rest of the calendar year. I had two doctor's appointments about it but am still not at 100% even almost 4 whole months later.

We gave blood three times and are slowly trying to work that more and more into our routine (every 8-10 weeks or so). I'm still always nervous about my iron levels being too low but I know it's more important to just try!

Shout out to some of the restaurants we frequented for take out throughout the year -
Nabeya Maido, Bravo Restaurant, O'Kims, Taniokas, Zippys, Spicy Ahi & BBQ, Fooki and DB Grill (IG accounts if available linked through the photos if you're interested!)
and many more of course but I didn't have very nice photos of everything (some are just not photogenic or too good not to just eat immediately!)

I don't have too many updates regarding what we did during the pandemic, so here's links to my past blog posts about the subject - My Self-Quarantine Routine and What I learned during self-isolation.

My husband and I have some important decisions we need to make coming up that are going to affect our immediate future for a bit (or won't - but that's part of the problem). We'll see how that goes and where we'll end up in early 2021! 

[Small edit from Jan 2021 because I thought of some things while I was in a better headspace but they're just random thoughts about the year anyway:]
- This is the first year since 2014 that I haven't been to Japan! I had had a trip planned to Tokyo in 2020 but obviously that was cancelled and I didn't try to reschedule it during the same year. I know I was lucky to have even travelled that much to JP to begin with but it doesn't even feel like that big of a gap because the last time I was there was Dec 2019 anyway. However, I realized there's quite a few things I typically buy/restock in JP that I didn't have access to anymore lol. It's also just a little wild to me that I had been traveling to Japan that consistently to begin with. I just got a new passport (it was time for a renewal plus had to get it with my name change) and now I have a fresh one without any stamps in it!
- I debated about putting this in before but now that I'm thinking a little more clearly, I do think I want to include that I reluctantly changed my "makeup" (really just my eyeliner) style near the end of the year. I had been getting lots of comments in Japanese on some of my Reels (not sure why) that my make up was bad or that the clothes were cute but my face not so much, etc and posted about that on my story bc I was so confused why I was getting a sudden influx of comments specifically in Japanese. What ended up happening was people just coming into my DMs giving me make up advice that I didn't really want. I know I kind of brought that on myself but I had always felt reasonably confident about how I looked with makeup before that and it really broke me down for a month or so. I started drawing on my eyeliner like most of the people who DM'd preferred and every time I drew it in the new style I just felt so bad about myself and how I was previously, for YEARS, making myself so ugly when I was using the old style of eyeliner. I still think about that every time I draw it in in this new way that is supposedly SO MUCH more flattering. I wonder if this feeling will fade by next year. But basically I just wanted to note this here because it really made me feel bad about myself and how I looked for a while. It stuck with me and it's been affecting me literally every time I put on my make up these days.
- I don't really like editing this type of post since I've wanted it to be a snapshot in time, but I really wasn't in a great mood when I had initially felt like I HAD to write out this post and I think it's more worth it to include things I think are worth remembering since these posts are mostly for me anyway 👼. 
[edit end

I've often used blogging as a way to help me keep a record of what my life is like at any given time. Although not super interesting to the average reader, my yearly wrap ups are often some of the posts I go back to and reread with fondness. This one probably isn't going to be a favorite but I do think is somewhat of an accurate look at what this year was. 
Wishing you and yours a better 2021. Please stay safe, continue to wear a mask and be respectful and patient with others. 💕

Sunday, December 20, 2020

My roomwear sets from Japan

These pieces aren't recent purchases but I've never really showcased them all together! I was looking around for a pair of Christmas socks when I came across some of my roomwear sets. I realized it might be fun to do a short little Reel :)

LizMelo jacket and shorts set (purchased from Shimamura)
This jacket and shorts roomwear set is from LizMelo - the cheaper Liz Lisa and My Melody/Sanrio collaboration that was mostly sold in Shimamura stores, not too much through Liz Lisa directly until later years. The price point is a little more accessible but the quality is a bit different as well. I do like that overall the material is a bit thinner/feels more breathable which makes it sometimes ok to wear in Hawaii!

Aimer Feel jacket and shorts set
I bought this set back in 2012 during my study abroad which was during the summer, thus the short sleeve/shorts set. I don't actually wear the little jacket very much but I often wear the shorts to sleep, and it's my go-to pair for taking on vacation! You can definitely see a bit of wear/signs of age, but I personally don't mind that for roomwear because it's just really comfy.

Hello Kitty romper (from Don Quixote)
Another weeby purchase from my 2012 summer study abroad trip. I actually have some positive memories associated with buying it (good times with friends) but this romper is just not very practical or very flattering lol. I do always like ears on a hood though. 

Liz Lisa chambre a couche jacket and shorts set
My personal favorite set by far and also the most expensive lol. It's the softest/plushest of the bunch and such a lovely floral print from the defunct home goods Liz Lisa line. The jacket and the shorts both have pockets and it's such a nice comfy fit with a larger/loose fitting jacket and bubble hem drawstring shorts. So cute but since the shorts are a bit thick, I don't often wear this one, although I have brought it on past Japan trips!

I used a lot of the same clips that I gif'd here but here's the Reel with the "transitions" :)

Got some feedback that this reel was pretty cringey, and you know what? I don't disagree with that lol. But I'm going to double down with the content of it 😂💕. It's 2020. Sometimes things just don't turn out how you anticipate! What can you do?