Monday, October 29, 2012

Lolita Closet: Metamorphose Rose Letter Set

Let's dive into a new addition that is now part of my lolita closet! I have to thank my wonderful friend Keiko for getting me this set for my birthday. Apparently I'm quite difficult to shop for and I had shown this to her asking if she thought the print was nice or not. She told me to not to buy it and bought it for me instead! (^__^;;)

The Metamorphose Rose Letter series was released in 2011, and I suppose they had a surplus of the fabric print over to make sets to sell for a special price and limited sale. I normally don't actively check brand sites often, and I had found out about this sale from another blog that I follow. The only colour left over was actually my favourite of the colours offered, light brown and ivory. The other offered colours were blue and black, and pink and off white. 

Mail! Receiving mail is always nice!
I did not know when the package would arrive since Keiko did not give me a shipping notice or tracking number. I just assumed that it would take a bit for Meta to ship out the item since it was a special sale item. From the day she ordered it, it arrived at my door 3 days later! But I had to pick it up the next day since I was not home for the delivery. 

Metamorphose Temps de Filles
The package was secure and no puncture holes in the outer packaging. You don't have to worry to much about preserving the shopping bag they have used on the outside since they include another bag in the inside of the package (plus the outer bag has tape and all those shipping and customs forms stuck on it. It's impossible to remove that with ease!)
 Inside the parcel was a paper in English thanking you for the order and had the instructions for returning the items if it was damaged or incorrect listed on the paper. Keiko later told me that she had asked them to write Happy Birthday somewhere on the invoice, but either it got lost in translation or they don't do special requests like that.. (^__^")

Rose Letter Set
 Since this was a limited sale set, it came with extra items. It could have varied between a pair of socks, a handkerchief, jewelry, or a headband. I ended up getting a pair of cute socks and a handkerchief that doesn't match this set at all. (>u<*)
The skirt is lovely in my opinion. It's a shame I was loosing lighting on the day I took the pictures because it looks more muted than it actually is. I tried adjusting the color settings to reflect that the print really looks like. The fabric is of medium weight and a nice quality cotton. It is the mini skirt version of the Rose Letter skirts, but I still find that for being "mini", it is still long and just hits right about my knees (and I'm 5'7"). The waist is fully shirred and is versatile for sizing. 

Rose Letter print
The print is stunning. It's a shame that Meta's own promo and sample pictures couldn't do the print justice. There are just so many details in the print to be shown! The theme of the series is 'writing letters', and features stationary and quills and pens. Meta's trademark swans and crowns are integrated into the print as stamps and seals. 

Lace trim
Detail of Rose Letter print
I thought this small portion of the print was very cute. The bottle of "Rose Ink" with the Metamorphose Swans as the label. You can also see the roses and stationary that occur within the print. The raschel lace along the hem is soft and made of cotton as well.

Socks and Handkerchief
The socks I ended up receiving are the Swan and Polka Dot over the knee socks. I was grateful that the coloring somewhat matched the the skirt since I could pair them together if I would like. I still can't place the name of the handkerchief's print series. It seems really familiar to me but I haven't not found it with any success yet. If you know it, please let me know! (*o*@)!

For the price of 6300 yen, I think if you liked the print, it was definitely a great deal. Normally their shirred skirts cost over 10,000+ yen and factoring that their socks usually cost about 2300yen, overall you do save quite a bit of money.
Unfortunately, since last week, they have sold out of this set and the page was taken down a day after Keiko purchased it for me. I guess I was lucky that I ended up finding out about the sale. ^__^"

Thanks to Keiko again for the awesome birthday gift and to everyone else, until next time!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Lolita Closet - Bodyline Carousel JSK in Black

It's been awhile since I've done a closet post! I really think I should wear lolita more often, but I haven't had the chance to plan many outings to wear my dresses to. This time around, let's look at my Bodyline Carousel Dress! Also known as the L144 dress on their site, it is unofficially called the Carousel print and is a popular and iconic print from Bodyline. It comes in black, yellow, pink, lavender and saxon blue!

Bodyline Carousel Print (L144)
I acquired this print while I was shopping at the Harajuku Bodyline location in Japan. At first I had saw the skirt version and I really liked it, until I walked over to the OP and JSK rack and immediately my eyes went to the JSK. I also purchased the matching knee high socks and the head bow to go with the outfit.

The complete set was very affordable and the print was extremely cute. That's the nice thing about Bodyline, is that it is a good starting point for a lolita. Even if there are negative connotations with the company and because of it's prior history (of being a adult costume shop), nowadays, you can find some fun and charming prints in their lolita section.

The straps on the JSK have elastic built into them, although I found no need for it to stretch. The dress features a side zipper and the bow in the front is removable. There is black lace trim along the front and integrated into the design on the dress. It actually blends into the fabric design, but it adds some visual texture if you're looking closely.

Back of the dress
There is a shirring panel on the back of the dress and it is hidden by the ribbon corseting. Since this was the last dress they had in the store, it was size LL. It was actually a bit loose on me, but I was really surprised that I would have to buy an LL sized dress. However, since Japanese sizing is graded very small, it makes sense that I would have to get an L or a LL. 

The waist ties are permanently attached to the side seams of the dress. I've seen and read about fellow lolitas who removed the waist ties from Bodyline dresses because they didn't like them! To each their own (^__~*)!

The knee highs were very cute! Initially I didn't get them when I bought the dress, but on a return visit, I decided to get them because they were not expensive (500 yen) and it would help complete the set. The socks feature one of the carousel horses and the colored stars that appear throughout the print.
The lace used to line the hem of the dress isn't of particular high quality, and can be a bit scratchy, but if you have a petticoat on, it is not a problem.

Carousel Print
The print itself is very adorable, featuring horses and stars, it has a very whimsical feel to it. They used this part of the print to make the matching tote bags out of. This past summer, I decided to get the bag since it was in stock on the site. At the moment, I don't have a picture of it though! /(>_<;)\

Headbow, pink version
The Harajuku store and online site did not have the black version of this head bow in stock. To be honest, I've never seen it! So I opted to get the 'pink' version of the head bow which has white lace instead. Because there is white occurring in the overall design of the print, it matches quite well and helps it stand out against my black hair! (*o*@!)

Although I have the complete set to this outfit, I've never worn it all together. I think it would be too over the top, but I like having all the pieces to this set. It's probably the only set that I own that is so complete!
As I write this post today, the dress is not in stock on the Bodyline site, however the skirt should still be in stock. But because this print is quite popular it does come back ever so often! This dress I got during it's second release. So, if you're looking to get it, just keep your eyes open for it!

Until next time!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Travel File: New England Cruise

I've been lacking in updates lately! Lots has happened in the last month and half, and as usual, I have a lot of catching up to do with my posts. This time around, we'll talk about the cruise I went on last month with my family and friends!
It was a trip I suggested on a whim to my friends because I had seen that it was on sale in a brochure my parents had received in the mail. The cruise consisted of going to New York, cruising between Canada and the US to visit "New England". The itinerary consisted of a round trip starting and ending in NYC, Halifax - Nova Scotia, St. John - New Brunswick, Bar Harbour - Maine, Boston - Massachusetts, and Newport - Rhode Island. I've gone cruising before, but it's been a couple years since I've gone since I had to miss out on the last cruise my family went on. So here we go!

We sailed with Princess Cruises, on board the Caribbean Princess. My first cruise was on this ship! However, it was before they renovated it. But all the bigger ships seem to all have similar layouts.

Day of sailing on our ship, Caribbean Princess
We went a day early to explore a bit of New York, and I'll have to go back eventually since there's always unfinished business in New York and things to see!

One of the best things I like about cruising is the food. My friends and family know that my stomach is like a bottomless pit, and I can eat a lot. Since Bosu and Yumi also came along for this trip, initially I was a bit wary of how they would react to our eating...but I think they started to match us on the food intake towards the end of the cruise! (^o^)*!!

I'll just do a short rundown of all the places we went to and some of the interesting things we ate and saw!

Peggy's Cove, Halifax
The five of us went to Peggy's Cove to see the rock formations and the light house. My parents opted to not go since they have already seen it before...and apparently, so have I...when I was 2. (>_>);;
We were fortunate enough to have lovely weather that day, not a cloud in sight and it was not foggy! Our excursion was at 7:30am, so there was a huge chance that it would have been foggy.

Rock formations at Peggy's Cove, Halifax
The ocean view and the atmosphere is just breathtaking. If I could have sat there for a couple hours, I would have, but I decided to walk around the rocks and see what else was around. I found some inukshuks and just had a good time climbing the rocks. Afterwards, we went to walk around the city and eat some lobster rolls. (*o*@!!)

Reversing Falls, St. John, New Brunswick
In St. John, we decided to walk from the port to the Reversing Falls. It was a bit of a walk, but it was only about an hour, it was fun to see all the houses and neighborhoods in the area. In the picture above, you can see the ships in the background. There were 3 ships docked that day! (Ours is the one on the top right).

Panorama of the Reversing Falls
We arrived a bit early for the tides to reverse, but we managed to kill a lot of time to see the tides fall and for the current to reverse and create vortexes/whirlpools. There are two look out points on either side of the gorge to view the rapids.

Bar Harbor, Maine
Lobster Ice Cream
While we were in Bar Harbor, Maine, our cruise agent recommended that we try lobster ice cream. The idea was a bit odd, but apparently it was very good! Our crew went to find it (@ Ben and Bill's) and Bosu even got a super lucky ice cream, as he got the lobster claw meat on his! *Jealous*

I really liked it. It had lobster meat mixed in with Vanilla ice cream, so you would get salty and sweet tastes. Either you love it or you hate it. (^__^;)

Since it's a New England cruise, and this area is famous for it's fresh seafood, of course, we have to eat some of it! Above is a picture of my sister's twin lobsters we got at one of the restaurants at Bar Harbor. I opted to get Lobster Bisque since I know my mom can't make that. (Looking at the lobster again is making me hungry... >_<;;!)

You can see our ship from the Sand Bar
We had an excursion to go up to Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park, but the weather was dreary that day and when we got to the top, it was very foggy and misty. You could not see anything. That's one thing about the weather, you can't control it. . .
However, since our excursion ended early, Bosu, Yumi and I speed walked to the sand bar to check it out. When the harbor has low tides, there is a sand bar that appears that links the main part of the island to another. You can drive and walk across it, which is really neat! The sand is made up of small pebbles and broken shells, so I went to hunt for some sea shells.

Freedom Trail marker, Boston
The weather cleared up for Boston, and we had nothing planned for the day. I had suggested to do the Freedom Trail walk since it would bring us to the historical buildings and parts of the town and lead us to Quincy market. I had seen on TV that a series of markers mark the important parts of the trail and it is all linked together by a red brick/line along the road.
I'm not very sure of the historical significance of the trail because I'm not familiar with American history. (>o<;;)
Boston Chowda!

And of course, while we're in Boston, I have to try the Boston Chowda! I actually really like seafood and clam chowder, so I was really looking forward to this. I got it in a bread bowl since I've never had one before, and it took a lot of effort to finish it by myself! The bread bowl was almost as big as my head, but it was super yummy. Lots of chunks of clams, fish and mussels.

Out in Rhode Island, the crew went to tackle the famous Cliff Walk. It's a walkway that is about 2.5 miles long and runs along the backyards of some of the most famous mansions in the area. You can catch a glimpse of some of them, however you're only looking at the back door. Sadly, we didn't get to explore or tour any of the mansions there, as it would have been great to see the interior of the Marble House, but our time was running out. 

The Cliff Walk
The Breakers
The weather had once again turned overcast and along the cliffs, it was very windy and chilly. I woke up that morning with a runny nose, so I dressed warmly for the day and even wore a rain poncho to keep me warm. 

The walk was nice but you could only see some of the houses. I'm sure if it was a sunny day the view and the ocean would have looked a lot better. Around the halfway point, we stopped the walk to go back to town.

Sadly, as the day progressed, I got progressively sick, but since it was the last day of the cruise, I was really thankful that I got sick right at the end. I blame my dad since he got sick earlier on the trip and was spreading his germs around. When we returned home, I felt bad since I had to call in sick for work because I had become very ill and needed to see my doctor. I bet they thought I was bullsh*ting since I had just come back from my trip and probably needed a day off. (>o<;) (But I went into work later in the week, and they all saw how horrible I looked..LOL)

So that was my trip is a super fast post! I came back with some small souvenirs. My sister gave me a funny crab plush and a lobster plush finger puppet. Seafood themed items! 
 Overall, I had a great time on the cruise. Everyone on the ship is so inviting and nice. I love the food and it was fun having a large group on the cruise! I'm sad Keiko could not come on the trip with us, but there will always be future cruises! 

So until next time Princess!