Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Adventures in Japan: Part I (planes and trains and rice fields, oh my!)

Lately I've been thinking ever so much about my trip to Japan with my boyfriend. We went from June 10th to June 22nd and I still can't expel the excitement of having gone, or wanting to go again for that matter.

The instance I saw the shores of Japan from our plane seats I was on cloud 9...thousand and 82 to be a little over-exaggerated, but that's how I felt. I just felt over exaggerated. My face could most likely have been described as an emoticon, like this one^∇^. You may need to add all the sparkly looks to it.

Anywhos, I was going for my first time !ever! to cross an ocean and enter another country and I was overly excited and had difficulties containing myself. My boyfriend, who has been to the land of the rising sun once before, was not as excited but happy enough to take me to a place I've been dreaming of going since my dad told me all about his trips as a ships captain. So about 4 years old.

We planned to go to as many places as possible; Yokosuka (to visit the naval base my boyfriend was stationed at), Tokyo, Harajuku, Akihabara, Shibuya, Shinjuku, Nipporri, Kyoto, and Hokkaido, this list could go on. We didn't get to the hot springs of Hokkaido or Kyoto, though. As a matter of fact, we didn't even get that far either way, Japan is just too big and amazing to try to fit into 12 days.

Alright so I've laid my background and I will try to be thorough in any way I can, this is partially for you, whoever reads this, and partially so I can assure I can always remember what we did, where we went, and who we met.



We went from TF Green Airport and hopped down to Washington and then took a direct flight to Narita Airport. The flights were a total of 16 hours and it is the most uncomfortable trip that we weren't prepaired for. If you plan on taking lolita, DO NOT wear it on the plane, wear something as comfortable as possible. The difficult part is knowing when your supposed to sleep to catch up on the time zone or if at all. I still haven't figured it out.

Yeah see this little plane...that's the one to do the little jump.

Not the big one I thought we'd be taking...
(ps. That's Garu, we took his pics everywhere.)

Okay, so the first thing we absolutely had to do, after we got to Japan, was get through customs and get our baggage, which isn't difficult at all. You just have to walk through the airport from your loading dock and find the desk with the guy who stamps you into the country.

On the way from point A to point B we used the nearest facilities (believe me, your baggage will take a bit, you have time) and you'll want to use them. Even after being on a plane with a bathroom for 13 to 16 hours it's just a little more comfortable, however, this is where you learn that the button that says "flush" on the toilet controls may actually be just a trick the designer wanted to play on anyone who has no clue as to how to use their toilet! Yeah, that was me, confused by the button that only made the flushing noise, you'll see the actual flush lever where it should be...the left hand side of the toilet. WHY it's in my blog? Because I bet you'd do it too. I did it then, to make it stop, turn down the volume until you could figure out how to stop it.

So, after bathroom humor, you go to customs part to get stamped, pick up your luggage, then proceed to the airport security asking you the basics of "why are you here" kind of stuff and "do you need to claim anything?" It's all really easy, right there after you grab your bag, no confusion. And if you've flown before you know what to bring and what you should or shouldn't have, know your "Airplane Oppropriate."

This is NEX.

If you don't do a package through your travel agency don't frett there is always the Narita Express, or NEX, with it's magically easy ride through the country without having to jump between lines and getting confused. It runs on high speede rails and arrives at the airport every 30 minutes for stops in Tokyo Station, Shinjuku, and Yokohama. We were staying in Shinjuku, so we had a bit to go.
This is a NEX passing us by to go back to Narita Airport.

Easily enough you could put your luggage on a luggage rack, either in the front or back of the cart that were equipped with a cord lock to prevent theft. I believe you put in your own combination so they're all different but I can't remember for certain.

A stewardess with her hair neatly kept and a cute uniform would come in with her cart. She would open the glass separation door, bow, then bring her cart filled with slightly pricey beverages and snacks. It is a good way to get coin yen after you've done your currency exchange at the airport. The regular railways, like the Jr Line and Metro Line, are easier to have coinage for just in my opinion.



It was wonderful and relaxing as the car passed by rice patties and farms watching trucks putter by around curvy roads. The rice looked as though it was about 4 inches above water in their perfect little rows in their perfect little water plots. Their stalks were a vibrant green and only just splayed their limbs out from their centers, like hands opening to the sky.

The houses, although fields apart, often looked like modernized yet still wore the architectural aesthetic of a very traditional japanese home. And there was bamboo, and I realize I don't have many pictures of what I tried to capture.

A few stops in we started to see a change from the farm land with the lush patty fields to more urban and modern cities, with structures that argued shape and bore ads for pachinko or ramen. The buildings all varied from one another, some well-kept, others well-used. It was exactly as I had imagined what it would look like.



My favorite building, maybe because it was so very random, had to be the a building of 6 floors all of the same noodle shop. At least that is what it looked like. It was Squished between to giant apartment buildings when the cities began to spring up. I unfortunately couldn't get a pic of it. Moving trains and buildings are apparently not my forte in picture taking...

It was beautiful and I will never forget it.



The Crafty Loli (Act I: scen i): Holiday Gifts for a Lolita

This is a section dedicated to the hands on creative Lolita. I want to explore ideas for holidays, birthdays, friendly gifts, cosmetics, cards, sewing, decorating, and anything that may come to mind. Hopefully the pictures will be easy enough to follow for those of us who are more visual*^_^* I hope you enjoy them and they are helpful. I would love suggestions of any sort if you have any, and please feel free to email me, I would love to feature something that you would like to try!

Now, onto the first act!

A Yummy Lip Scrubs

The biting cold of winter is upon us and often we find ourselves purchasing lip balm to soothe and ease our weather worn lips. Although this is a quick and easy remedy, it doesn't always get rid of the unwanted patchwork that usually presents itself in the winter months.

One thing we often forget when applying any balm or syrum is that exfoliating is the key to our chapped lip redemption. Just as it can take care of dead and flaking skin on the face, elbows, and knees, these little exfoliant crystals can smooth out your lips and the best part is you don't even have to leave your kitchen to get any of the ingredients!

Now what can be better than a gift of smooth, soft, lips for the holiday season?

It's fun and easy and, depending on the recipe, usually only requires three ingredients (sorry, mine has four). The one I've listed here I made up based on smell and taste. It was a fun experiment I enjoyed and hope you do too!

Ingredients
1 tbsp 1/2 tsp Granulated Sugar
1 tbsp 1/2 tsp Light Brown Sugar
1/2 tspn Cinnamon
1/2 Olive Oil(I used extra vigin olive oil)

~The recipe is fairly simple, grab a bowl and a spoon or spatula and dump the sugar and brown sugar in the bowl. It may taste a little better if you put in another fourth a tsp of brown sugar for your mix.
~Once thoroughly mixed, add in the cinnamon and remix. The mix should turn a slightly darker shade of brown.

~Next add in the 1/2 tsp of olive oil. Make certain you stir the mix thoroughly, it shouldn't clump or melt.
~With a spoon or funnel, gently add your mixture into your air~tight storage jar.

~Last step: ENJOY! What you've just made is edible and yummy and should taste like french toast.

Presentation and Storage

For my lip scrub jar I used a cute little round favor jars I got from Michaels a few years ago for favors for a show (they fit Hersey Kisses perfectly(^_^)) They come in an 18 count and cost about you can find it in the wedding aisle.

I also put stickers I had on the sides to decorate it. Bows, glitter gel, the sky's the limit, but remember you have a mix in it that comes in contact with your mouth. Be sure that whatever you stick on the jar won't come loose and contaminate your lip scrub.

I drew a holiday card then added the important lip scrub information in it. It's good to list the ingredients as well. If the person who receives this is allergic to something you didn't  know about they'll be able to know from the card. I add this because my gift is for a yankee swap at a lolita holiday party and anyone can receive it.

Important Note: Whatever you plan on using for storing your sugar scrub it needs to be air~tight and can be stored up to approximately 2 weeks. Stickers for the recipient of this gift, marking when it is good by, can easily be placed on the bottom of the jar without taking away from the aestetic cuteness of the present itself.

Well, that's all for now, I hope you find this tutorial usful and yummy for your holiday season!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

30 day Lolita Meme

It has taken me a while to Post anything...again! I'm so sorry!
I had intended to write to test myself and it seems as though I am failing. I have 4 posts I haven't finished or listed and it just adds to my stress. I will get over this.
However, this meme, 30 day Lolita meme, could help me along with my writing.

Day 1 – 10 things about your lolita bubble.
Day 2 – 10 things you love in lolita.
Day 3 – 10 things you hate in lolita.
Day 4 – 10 different kinds of food you like.
Day 5 – 10 items from your wishlist.
Day 6 – 10 things you can’t live without in lolita.
Day 7 – 10 people who inspire your lolita style.
Day 8 – 10 songs that inspire you for lolita.
Day 9 – 10 things you will never do in lolita.
Day 10 – What’s in your bag?
Day 11 – One day in your lolita life in pictures.
Day 12 – A picture of yourself before lolita came in to your life.
Day 13 – A picture of your favorite sweets.
Day 14 – A picture of your dream item.
Day 15 – A picture of your last lolita purchase.
Day 16 – Your outfit for the day.
Day 17 – What do you want more then anything right now?
Day 18 – A picture of your favorite lolita style.
Day 19 – What’s in your make-up bag?
Day 20 – A picture of a lolita friend.
Day 21 – Your favorite fictional lolita.
Day 22 – A picture of your room.
Day 23 – A picture of your handwriting.
Day 24 – A picture of you from a meet.
Day 25 – Your favorite lolita themed artwork.
Day 26 – Your Facebook profile picture.
Day 27 – One song that fits your favorite lolita style.
Day 28 – A picture of the perfect lolita location.
Day 29 – A picture of a lolita you would love to meet for real.
Day 30 – A photo of yourself taken today and 3 good things that’s happened over the last 30 days.

I had to search out the source and descovered it originated from The Random Lolita here:
http://therandomlolita.blogspot.com/2011/05/day-1.html