Monday, December 29, 2014

I'm Not Dead Yet!

It's officially been over a year since I moved to Alice Springs and I have to admit that I still feel the same way about this quirky little town. My "candy coated life" certainly had it's candy coating melted off once I arrived here in the sweltering heat. I've managed to survive though and even find one or two good things here, but not enough to say that I love it here or even really like it. The best thing about living in Alice Springs so far has been… I haven't been here all that much.

Our current living situation has meant a bit of extra money and more opportunities for me to travel. So far this year I've been to Tokyo on two different occasions and was able to tour some of southern Japan with Husband. We even spent a night in Taipei and a bit too much time in the Hong Kong International Airport for my tastes. I was able to take a weekend getaway to Melbourne with one of my new bestie here in town to visit my Aussie bestie, Violet Le Beaux. Then, for my birthday, my mother-in-law took me along on her Australian tour so I've been able to see even more of this country! We snorkeled on the Great Barrier Reef, discovered the rain forests, toured Sydney, went to Ayers Rock (now called Uluru) and so much more.

That's not to say I haven't been having fun while I'm at home either. Winter is really the season for events here in the Alice and I was able to make it to just about all of them. Alice Springs really blossoms into a center of art and culture once the weather cools down. My best friends here has really been encouraging me to celebrate the good things even though they may be small and the best so far has been the most amazing dry cleaner I've ever had in my life. If you're a Lolita then you'll understand how much of a blessing that can be!

This coming year I have even more travel planned so I'm hoping to spend more time documenting it on my blog. I also have come to the realization that I have always traveled way more than the average person and I'm hoping to share some tips and techniques that I've picked up along the way along with reviews of some of my favorite travel products. I haven't given up sewing yet either and I'm slowly but surely getting my workshop ready to start producing products for sale. There's so much to look forward to in 2015! Here's to a new year with new adventures and wishing everyone else a great 2015 as well!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

About Alice

I keep wanting to write all about how living here in Australia is different than being in the United States, but honestly… it doesn't feel all that different. Sometimes I kind of forget that I'm on the complete other side of the world from everything I'm familiar with.

I went hiking with some new friends in the Outback. 

Alice Springs is a small town. A VERY small town when compared to all the places I've lived before. There is no craft store, getting food delivered is like playing roulette, and the businesses here all seem to run on flexible hours that they don't post anywhere. Even so, that's just like any small town no matter where in the world you are. Of course it helps that everyone speaks English here and there are many Americans who live and work here. It also doesn't hurt that I don't really get out too much either, mostly because it's just been too hot.

These cuties were hanging out in the tree in our backyard. They are Galah Parrots. 
I've actually been putting off writing about Alice Springs because I really don't like it here. I keep wanting to give this place a real chance because I know that just about everything is working against me right now. All of our things that were shipped from the US still haven't arrived yet (even though I packed out before Thanksgiving) so I've been really bored here with nothing to keep busy with at home. Also I arrived in the dead of summer and the town is shut down because it's not their tourist season because it's just too hot to do anything. I have a feeling once Autumn really kicks in and we head into winter there will be much more going on. So just because I'm not having an easy time of it right now isn't necessarily the place's fault. Let's hope there will be lots more good things to write about in the very near future!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Oh look, Australia…

Sometimes life throws you a curveball and you spend the majority of 2013 moving to Australia. Or is that just me? Husband transferred to a new job last summer and because we decided to move all our animals with us, it made the moving process that much longer because of the paperwork and quarantine.

Dogs and cats are required to spend a minimum of 30 days in Australian quarantine once they arrive in country, and that's after all of the time you spend doing tests, vet visits, and paperwork. (At least that was the policy when we arrived, I know it's due to change soon.) I was worried about all my little ones spending that time by themselves so Husband was nice enough to allow me to spend that time staying in Melbourne so I could visit the animals and make sure they were okay. So even though Husband arrived at the beginning of August, I didn't leave the States until the end of November. 

Having never been to Australia before, staying in Melbourne was a great introduction to the country. I was able to relax after all the stress of packing up and moving and I spend a bit of snuggle time with the cats and dogs while they were in "animal jail". I also got a chance to finally meet Violet, Jimmy, and Miss Lottie (notably from and they were nice enough to show me around the city and give me lots of tips. Since I was in Melbourne on my own for the most part, I tended to do boring every day things, but I did make a special trip to the Melbourne Zoo. Here are some of my favorite shots from there!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Spring Is Here!

Since I've been spending the better part of the last two weeks doing yard work, I guess that means that spring is finally here. I'm a really big fan of the changing of the seasons rather than one particular season over another. I think I'm just always excited about a change to something new. Spring means tons of work for me though now that we have a huge front and back lawn to care for. I seriously do not look forward to all the work I still have to conquer! Despite that I decided to celebrate the new season by taking some shots of the blooms that have already sprung up here in the valley. (In other parts of Washington, people are still skiing! That's crazy!)

Daffodils are in full bloom, next up should be the tulips!

The Magnolia tree is blooming as well, the flowers are so beautiful and fragrant!

Tucker has been enjoying the beautiful weather and spending lots of time outside. He was very curious about what I was up to.
Today is actually very grey and rainy, giving me a rest from outdoor chores and a chance to catch up on my indoor chores. I think all the plants and especially the grass will enjoy this day-long drink of much needed water as well!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Japanese Magazines: The Best Part

Koakuma Ageha, March 2013
I've been buying Japanese fashion magazines off and on now for about the last six years or so, ever since I started being interested in the fashion. It started with a couple magazines at an anime convention, then I started subscribing to Scawaii through an online service that would ship the magazine to me every month (about a month after it came out). In the past few years though, since I've been living in close proximity to a Japanese bookstore (both in Maryland and now here in Washington) I've been a regular subscriber of Koakuma Ageha and now KERA. I also have a terrible weakness for impulse magazine buys and love to pick up just about anything that perks my interest after a quick flip through. I love magazines that feature Lolita fashion, nail art, deco, high school fashions, makeup... I tend to be very ecclectic!

I know many people today tend to just download scans of their favorite magazines instead of trying to purchase them outright. I know I have been guilty of the same! However I really believe in supporting the industries that we love and I really love these magazines. Not to mention, when you don't buy the issues outright, you miss out on one of the best parts: the included freebies!

1.Cecil McBee totebag 2. Q-Pot tote and apron 3.Glad News mirror 4. Cath Kidston Kids bento set 5. Eyelashes from Ageha 6. Liz Lisa pouch (currently filled with my makeup from my trip last weekend) 7. Cecil McBee eyelash storage case 8. Liz Lisa Wallet
Many Japanese magazines come with free giveaways packaged with the magazine. Of all the magazines I usually see, gyaru magazines tend to have freebies more regularly. Also, different brands will release a one-off magazine or “mook” (magazine + book) and include a special product. Most recently, Lolita brand Angelic Pretty released such a magazine and included a tote bag featuring one of their most popular prints (mine is currently on it's way here!). I've bought tons of cute things this way from brands like Q-Pot, Cath Kidston, and Sanrio in this way. I think the easiest way to get me to buy a magazine though is to include false eyelashes. I am an absolute SUCKER for false eyelashes and have gotten some amazing sets from both Ageha and Ranzuki.

Koakuma Ageha with included items, Jan 2013 Feb 2013 March 2013
This last weekend I was in Seattle and finally got a chance to pick up my backed up subscriptions of Ageha and KERA. In the years that I've followed KERA I can't ever remember a time when they've included a freebie. Ageha however has been on a roll recently and for the last five months or so have had an included product! I absolutely love that Ageha's freebies are almost all really useful, cute, and relatively good quality (especially for being free with a magazine). These last three issues have all come with a pouch from brands Ravijour, Cecil McBee, and Glad News which you can use for cosmetics, travel, or just about anything. These are my absolute favorite to receive because I have found a million and one uses for them!
CUTiE March 2013, with my new Liz Lisa wallet

I also saw that this issue of CUTiE included a Liz Lisa wallet so I had to pick that up as well. I mean Liz Lisa is one of my favorite brands, I needed a new wallet, it JUST SO HAPPENED to match the Liz Lisa suitcase I was using that weekend... I actually started using the wallet right away and I absolutely love it.

Of course I do actually buy the magazines for themselves as well. Even though I don't read Japanese I find them unbelievably inspiring for me. I actually keep most of the issues for reference when I'm looking for inspiration for an outfit, a design, or even just to get my creative juices flowing again. I still haven't really gotten a chance to pour through all the magazines I picked up (seven in total) so I'm really looking forward to the blossoming of so many new ideas!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Candy-Coated Web: March

I thought that during the downtime while I'm working on some bigger projects, I'd share some fun links with everyone! Here's what I've been up to around the web! (I love doing these wrap-up things!!)

I was really excited to see this preview for recent movie from Japan featuring not only Lolitas, but maids in a maid cafe! Two of my favorite things!

I really hope I can find "Sisters Of Musashino Line" to download (with English subtitles hopefully)! I only found out about this through Yani's vlogs (click-click). I'm really having fun watching her, she's one of my favorite Lolitas!

Next up isn't actually on the web, but on my iPad... is that cheating? Even so, it seems like almost everyone is getting in on LinePlay! It's a game, but... there's no game. It's actually a way to connect with friends using a little avatar you can customize and dress up! Your avatar also gets their own room that you can decorate.

She has a purple pony! And pajamas! And a stuffed carrot!

The in game currency to buy new clothes and room decorations are "gems" which you can by completing simple tasks in the game, or also by inviting and being invited by other players! If anyone wants to swap invitation codes, I still have some to give out!

This is a special sneak preview of a project I'm working on!
Last up, I've been trying to use Instagram everyday (even though I missed yesterday >_<). I'm hoping that doing a bit of micro blogging will help keep me inspired to do more writing for this blog! If you're on Instagram and like pictures of cute things and Pomeranians, then add me at: Puregirlblue! 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Where In The World Is...?

So where have I been? So many places actually! I've been so lucky to travel with Mother-In-Law to attend so many Amaranth events lately! It seems like just when I finally get home and finish with my laundry, I have to get ready to pack again. Of course, I LOVE to travel so it never bothers me! (I'm even getting pretty decent at packing light!)

I was in Great Britain this Fall. Everyone keeps asking me about my trip, but I'm actually pretty terrible at taking about it. It was really fun, I saw some stuff, it was very British and/or Scottish. Here are some pictures though:

Murica, my Alpaca went with me and often took my place when posing in photos!

I also went to Texas (Houston and Fort Worth) where I ate way too much food and went to the zoo. I have pictures of that too:

 I was so excited to see the new arrivals! I absolutely LOVE giraffes so of course I loved the chance to get to see this little one!
 They also had a baby black rhino! He was so playful!

 I think my favorite animal that day though was this ostrich who was housed with the giraffes. My mother-in-law and I were talking about what it might be like to live in a zoo... 
When I saw this ostrich flop his head down on the grass I decided that I would probably be like this if I lived in a zoo!

Every now and then the ostrich would life only his head up and then just flop back down. Definitely my life in the zoo! 

I always think that at some point my life is going to calm down, but I think my new new year's resolution should be to give up on that kind of thinking. In the meantime though, enjoy these pictures
Red Lollipop