Friday, January 20, 2012

Welcome to @Home Cafe

I keep forgetting to post up some pictures from our trip to Japan, so here's another episode of our trip! On our designated lolita day, we set out to go to a maid cafe, specifically @Home Cafe Donki in Akihabara. There are two locations of @Home in Akiba, Donki signifies the one located in the Donquijote building (yes, I realized it's spelled funny). This one had a dining/living room, basically a seating area that the other locating didn't have.

Keiko and I waiting to be seated, @Home Cafe. Pic Credit: Bosu
It's better to go to a maid cafe with someone who speaks some Japanese. Although most cafes will have an English speaking maid, I think the experience isn't as genuine since it's a bit mistranslated. If you understand Maid Cafe culture, it's more cute and endearing. Being a maid at our annual charity maid cafe at Anime North, I've been infused with knowledge of this culture, (whether I liked it or not :P )

They do have an English menu, which helps, and they let you look at that while you are waiting to be seated. We had 5 people in our party, and only waited about 5-10 minutes at around 3pm that day.
The maids were very cute and were surprised that we all showed up in lolita!

My sister's Halloween dessert. That pumpkin was super cute!
Since it was a week and a half before Halloween, they had started to promote their Halloween special, which was a dessert (pictured above) and they had a card that went with it. If I recall, if you had the dessert 8 times, you could redeem the card to get a special picture with the maids or play a special game with them. The dessert was cubes of shortcake, drizzled with chocolate sause and orange syrup, with taro ice cream and strawberries and whip cream on top. The little cream puff pastry was decorated like a jack-o-lantern. It's looked really cute but my sister said it was a lot of weird flavors all in one. The dessert was 500 or 600yen, and it came with a cute sticker.

Interior of @Home Cafe. Pic Credit: Bosu
You're not supposed to take pictures inside the cafe, but we took a few anyways. Shh!
The way maid cafes work in Japan is that you pay an 'entrance sitting' fee and then you pay for your addition food items on top of that. The sitting fee for @Home is 700 yen. Drinks vary from 500-700 yen each and food is around 1200-1700 yen (I think, I don't recall exactly). There are different combo sets that usually work out to be a good deal, as they include a drink, food dish, and either a picture of you with your maid or some 'moe' candies. 
We ate before we went...so we all ended up ordering drinks or a dessert. Maid caf├ęs aren't known for their food, it's more for the experience. When they give you the drinks, it's very cute. They have you send love to the drink/food before you eat. We were served by at least 4 different maids and they talked to us and asked us where we were from. Each maid has their own theme to make them unique, one girl was accessorized with Pikachu accessories!

My Polaroid and my Mistress card from @Home Cafe.
 We chose the option to take a Polaroid  with the maid of our choice. Since we couldn't read their names, they brought over a clip board with pictures of each of the girls and we pointed to who we liked. My maid started talking to me about lolita and whether I wore it at home, and with my horrible Japanese I manage to convey that I wore it sometimes. You're allowed to choose an item to take a picture with from a wall of plush toys and accessories. I picked the alpaca, because it's Awesome!
To take a picture with a maid is 500 yen.

When you go to @Home, you're presented with a Master card, every time you go visit their cafe, you slowly power up. Once you level up, you get a different card. The one I have is considered Bronze. The next table over, one of the guys had a Black one! I wonder how many times he went to get that one.../(>__<;)\*

The message Keiko and I left for the maid of @Home Cafe. Pic Credit: Bosu
One of the maids came around with a notebook and asked us to leave a 'memory' in it. Becca wrote an entry and then Keiko started writing hers. I just finished it up with a sentence in English and then drew a picture of us in our outfits so they could remember us ♥ 

Moe hand wipes and chopsticks.
 Before we left, they presented each of us with 'moe' chopsticks. It was really cute, except they're just take out chop sticks.. (^__^;;)* When I was packing to leave Japan I somehow ended up with all the wipes and chopsticks...

Each seating is about an 1 - 1.5 hours long, where you'll be served with your drinks / food, everyone in the room will play a game against the maids on duty, take your polaroids and have some conversation with your maids. We didn't opt to play the game because if you win you have to go up on their small stage and they talk to you in Japanese and you have to respond. I was also busy finishing up the drawing in the notebook. 

Overall, the experience was really fun. It's a shame none of us did the special drinks or food because I have heard that the presentation is super cute and over the top! I'm not particularly fond of the sitting fee because it add ups to your total. I only had a drink and took a polaroid with my maid and it cost me 1700 yen. 
I think I would go again for fun with some friends if the chance popped up though! 
So, see you soon @Home? ♥

Friday, January 13, 2012

Peas in a Pod

Peas in a Pod x 4!
I love Peas in a Pod from Toy Story 3. They didn't make that much of an appearance in Toy Story 3, but I think they are one of the cutest characters they created for the movie. I've collected a few variations of Peas in a Pod from around the world and each has their own differences!

I've named them Athos, Porthos and Aramis after the Three Musketeers.
(Porthos is the really happy one, Athos is the little smile, and Aramis is just happy.)

1. Giant Peas in a Pod, from Japan. each Peas is bigger than my head! It's so cute, I got it as a birthday gift from my sister and her boyfriend from our last trip to Japan.

2. Baby Peas, from Canada. These I bought here at a local Disney store, each pea is really chubby and fat. :)

3. Baby Peas, from London, England. First peas I managed to locate after going to the Disney store along Oxford Street. 

3. Baby Peas, from Japan. My sister picked these little guys up from an earlier trip to Japan last year and they really amuse me! The peas are smaller than the other two but they're strung together! How odd and funny is that? (^__^*)/

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Lolita Closet - Metamorphose Sweets Time

One of my great interests and hobbies is to try out macarons from around the world and in different shops. When my macaron hobby collides with my lolita one, usually it's a bad combination. There are some prints out there like "Dreaming Macaron" from Angelic Pretty that are on my 'Someday I might get it list when I strike it rich', but I always do a double-take when I see some macarons on a lolita print.
Of course, one of my Metamorphose purchases had to have macarons in them, so here we go!

This is Metamorphose's Crown Label Sweets Time (One-Piece)

Metamorphose CL Sweets Time OP
At first, I thought the print was a bit overwhelming, but it really appealed to me at the same time. It's not very subtle and is a statement. Before I bought it, I asked my fellow lolita friends about their thoughts of the dress and it ended up in a 50/50 with their feedback. This dress came in two colors, a pink colorway and black, and I think black is definitely the better of the two. My sister expressed that the print was too big and loud, and thought the placement of the doughnut on the bodice might be a problem...
In the end, I wasn't deterred and bought it anyways (≧∀)

Sweets Time bodice details

The details in the dress can be seen so much better in life. There are hardly any good pictures of this dress out there, so I've taken some close up ones to show off the details. I thought the cut and silhouette would be similar to my Swan Lake dress, and they are close, but not the same. The waistline is lower on this dress and gives a very nice shape, it fits me perfectly. ♥ 
I thought the buttons were very cute and matched the print perfectly. The sewn detailed panels on the center front are a bit unnecessary since the print is so prevalent, however I appreciate the thought in the design. The bow on the waistband is removable and some pearls sewn on it which match up with the confetti dots that are in the print. The neck ties are also removable.

Sweets Time print
There's so much to look at in this print and it's really neat to look at all the details that are added into the print design to brand it. On the plate with the cake and macaron, the words "Crown Label" are done in chocolate icing and the words also appear on the playing cards. The logo for this line is seen on the tea pot and on the little heart biscuit on the cupcake. 

Ruffle layer on the hem
It's very hard to tell (although I noticed it in the stock photos) that there's an extra tier of ruffles along the hemline. It makes the hem more fuller, and the usual built in tulle on the lining also helps with that too. The dress looks great on with out a petticoat, but it can also accommodate a large one too. Just depends on the overall look you want to achieve. The lace has a cute ribbon design on it.

Back of the dress
The back of the dress has partial shirring panel and lace up corseting detail on the back. I actually prefer the corseting on this dress because it doesn't lace up through lace, but there are separate channels on the side of the shirring panel with button holes for the ribbon to lace through. It's more durable and won't stretch out the lace. 

Matching headband
This is the matching headband to the dress. Very cute and the bow is centered in the middle. I really like the fabric swatch they used for the headband, you can still see the 'crown label' lettering. There are also some pearls sewn on for detail similar to the bow on the dress.

I'm very happy to have gotten this dress, it's very 'me', it's one of the more fun prints in my collection. It's not a super popular print from Metamorphose but I find if you get ones that suit your personality and are a bit more obscure, those are usually the best. 

Until next time when I dive into my closet for the next showcase!

Monday, January 2, 2012

The GazettE: Revisited

* Happy New Years everyone! *

This is an update from the concert I went to in October when we went to see The GazettE in Japan. Our friend Becca found a picture they took during the live and she sent it to us. Since we weren't allowed to take pictures at the concert, this was really amazing for us!

The GazettE live @ Kounosu City Cultural Center on Oct 19, 2011
If you enlarge the picture, you can see my friends and I in the front row. We're along the left side, in the front row (infront of Aoi and the mega speakers). We stick out a lot...cause I guess we're a bit taller than the rest of the attendees, and we all have our hands up!! 

\o/  |o| \o/ \o/

Haha funny how my hands are straight up in the air, I didn't want to have my hands infront of my friend's faces when we were cheering and doing the moves to the music!
The band members would stand on their platforms when they performed so the rest of the fans could see them better. Aoi stood on his almost 90% of the time!!
But look how close we were to the stage!! We could have crawled up there and mobbed the band. (@^0^) ♥ ♥!!