Thursday, April 30, 2015

Love Yourself NOW! + OOTD

So if you've read some of my past entries, you know that I've struggled with loving myself, my body, and just general self positivity. I knew I wanted to lose weight, and I knew I would be happier at a smaller size, but I didn't want to wait until I was at that smaller size to start loving myself! That's no way to live. I've struggled and tried to like my body, and suddenly, today...I did.

This is me, a size 18, with a tummy, wearing a crop top and high waisted skirt. This is me holding up my arm, which is not thin. This is me showing skin. This is me, with all my faults and flaws...actually thinking that I am still cute.

I don't know why it started, honestly. There was no distinct trigger that set these feelings in motion. This morning I just woke up, put on what you see, and I, for the first time in maybe EVER, felt 100% comfortable in my skin. I still want to lose weight and get in shape, of course. But now, in my "before" state, I like my body. Wow.

I may not be plus size forever. I don't intend to be. But while I am, I hope to use my confidence and such to help others feel the same way I feel. Whether you're 90 lbs or 500 lbs, you deserve to LOVE YOURSELF!

Unfortunately, I can't give too many too many tips on how to love yourself, seeing as it just seemingly suddenly happened to me. Care for yourself. Put on the lotions, the balms, the serums. Make your baths extra long and add in some nice scented candles. Look at yourself and know that this you is the only you that you have. It's okay to change your body, but your body now is still yours.

If you ever need to talk, I am here~ I hope that you're having a wonderful day and you have love for yourself!!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

My Week + April Favorites Video!!

Shot from an OOTD video I filmed~

So I decided to do kind of an Instagram roundup/my week type post! I'm also trying to find the balance between making blog and vlog posts. It seems like when I make lots of one, I neglect making any of the other. I'm going to try getting myself on an actual schedule for making blog posts and videos. For now, I'm going to get back into the blogging swing of things with a simple post, but my next post is going to be my internet purchases post!

Here's a preview of said post - my amazing smiley bag from Aliexpress! I can't wait to take lots of pictures of it and talk all about how amazing it is!!

So this week I've had lots and lots and lots of migraines, practically back to back. I think it's just seasonal allergy type migraines, but I've never experienced this before. However, I've wanted to get dressed up and film a lot this week, so I have! My bestie bought a few things for me, and I wanted to show them off! Also, I've loved playing with my hair; it's finally at the length where I can DO things with it again! 

As I said, I want to find a balance between blogging and vlogging, but I'm really, really into vlogging right now. I don't know why, I've just been having so much fun and getting some very nice comments, and I've also been finding some really nice people to follow (mostly plus size vloggers)!

When I haven't been vlogging or laying down trying to alleviate my headaches, I've been playing loads of Animal Crossing New Leaf! I've been earning loads and loads of bells to get Gracie's Princess series of furniture, as well as her nice clothing items! When I'm not playing Animal Crossing, I'm also playing Pokemon Rumble and Pokemon Shuffle! 

I've also discovered how amazing Tsum Tsum is - both the actual plushies and the app! I love playing the game so much, it's much too addicting, and it's only making me realize how cute everyone is and I want to buy them all! 

I guess mostly, though, I've been just trying to unwind and hope that I feel better. I have a lot of things I want/need to get to and not being able to look at light/stand noises isn't very productive. I feel like I'm being lazy! I took a long bath with a candle and bath fizzy the other night to try and feel better and I think it really helped! I did have to skip out on something today because of the migraines, but I feel like they're coming less frequently.

And today, I also felt just really...body lovin'. Like, I actually LIKED my body. I've always had problems liking my body, especially my areas that carry the most weight, but today I actually felt allover cute! I know that liking and loving yourself can be hard, but it's a wonderful feeling to have, even if it's fleeting. I hope that you give yourself a hug and a smile today, okay?

Lastly, here's my April Favorites video! I hope you enjoy, and have a great day!!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

MTAC 2015 Report & Haul!!

I'm back from this year's MTAC with only a bit of the con crud/post-con exhaustion. And I had fun!

2014 was pretty terrible. I didn't like any of the events, the venue was hot and crowded (yes, I know why we were there), and I just wanted to go home as soon as I got there. I wondered if maybe I was outgrowing anime conventions, or at least outgrowing MTAC. But this year was so much better, it really restored my faith. It was run by someone new this year, the guy who was actually president of my college anime club when I first joined, someone who really got me interested in anime and being in a social setting. Although my anxiety did spike a bit a few times during the con, I was able to keep it under check and really enjoyed myself!

This year, me and my fiance didn't get a hotel room to save on costs, but we probably will next year. When you have five or so hours in between panels you want to go to, and one of them is late at night, you realize how exhausted you are from the day and just want somewhere to sprawl out and nap.

So I was mostly with my fiance, my bestie Miraiina, and her husband this year, and Miraiina had never been to a con! So it was lots of fun to see how excited she was! The first day, we both twinned our lolita outfits! We wore Squirrel Party with similar wigs and accessories! I realize we never got any pictures of us together for ourselves, though other people took them. She looked way cuter then me :P

The first day we only stayed until about sundown. There were no panels we really wanted to go to, so we made it our shopping day! I have what I bought a bit lower down in the post. The second day I was feeling really hot so I didn't dress up. I helped my fiance with his panels and danced during the ParaPara Power Hour. The only other panel we went to was Religion in Anime, which was good but very basic. Next year's theme is "16 Bit" and I would love to do a video game panel, maybe on Animal Crossing, but I don't know what the point would be aside from, "This is Animal Crossing."

I guess now I'll get into what I bought or received~ The only thing I won't be talking about are the cans of coffee because...well, it's just a can of coffee.

I didn't have too much money going in but I did get a good bit, and then my fiance and bestie got me a few things!

I'll start with my favorite and biggest purchase, this giant, pink Yoshi! I'm proud of myself because while he was the first thing I saw, I bought him lastly just to make sure there was nothing else I wanted to spend that money on. I sleep cuddling him now!

Here is a size comparison! He really is big!

The other plushie I have was from my fiance! This adorable lavender (my favorite color!) sheep with a daisy (or egg XD) on its head. It's so fluffy. It also sleeps with me, usually above my head.

Next are two Yoshi keychains from a $3 bin. When did Yoshi become so important to me? I'm really glad I found him in his helicopter form from Yoshi's Island! They're both attached to my phone now.

Next is a sticker and some pins from NattoSoup! Miraiina got me the smaller pins! Unfortunately I think one of the gems from the big pin fell off when the pin fell off while I was dancing...

Lastly is something else the bestie got me, this cute Sailor Pluto figure!! This was something I was eyeing in the dealer room but decided against, so I'm very grateful that she bought this for me!

And I believe that's it! I have a touch of the con crud, so I haven't been doing much lately...I hope you all are doing well!!

Bonus, me at con with smeary smeary eyeliner under my eyes XD

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Convention 101

Tomorrow is the first day of my local anime convention! As always, I'm excited to see old friends, dress up, and just be in such an exciting environment. This will be my ninth consecutive year of attending this convention, and almost every year has been unique and great! This year I'm only helping my fiance with his panels and only wearing a lolita coordinate one day - as opposed to past year where I've helped run panels or performed or such - so it's exciting to not be too stressed about things.

I loved the very first convention I attended, it was so exciting and magical! But thinking back, there were some things I wish I had known ahead of time, or even things I wished other people would have known. So I decided to write up a basic intro to conventions panel that might help some convention newbies out! I even drew some quick doodles because I couldn't find good images to use! Of course, don't follow my advice precisely - go off and be unprepared, it can be fun sometimes!

Before The Convention

  • Buy your badge/pass ahead of time! I've never been at a convention where this wasn't cheaper then buying it at the door. Some bigger conventions even run out of badges and you're not able to just come the day of and pay to get in! Some conventions will actually mail your preordered admission to you so you don't have to stand in a line when you arrive to the convention. If this is not the case, the pre-reg line is usually shorter then the general admission line anyway, as well as quicker to get through.
  • Buy a room and, if applicable, plan your roommates. This bullet point isn't going to be for everyone, and that's fine. Some people feel you absolutely need a hotel room to enjoy a con and that's just not true. I think a hotel room is good, however, if you don't live in the area, or you're changing outfits often, or if transportation back and forth would be a hassle. Also, it's a good idea not to let everyone in creation stay in your room, no matter how cheap it would make costs. Think about space, hygiene, and if all your proposed roommates would even get along. Stuck wanting a room? The convention forums usually have some posts from people needing roommates!
  • Plan your cosplays/special outfits ahead of time! This applies moreso for cosplays, but always assume if you're ordering costume pieces or wigs or such that they'll arrive later then they should, so you're not stuck panicking at the mailbox the day before the convention. Also assume that life or something might get in the way and don't plan to finish your cosplays the day before! 
  • Look at the schedule, guests, vendors, etc. before arriving, if you're able to. It's not good to make a concrete, wiggle room-free schedule, but it is a good idea to have a rough plan of what you might like to do and see, if there are any guests you need to get an autograph from, if there are any artists or vendors you just have to buy from, etc. A good idea might be to make a loose schedule, noting panels or events you just have to go to, some you really want to go to but won't be too upset if you miss, and so on. Some conventions have begun putting out apps that do this very thing!
  • Save more then you think, especially if this is your first convention and everything is new and amazing. If you only bring a bit of money when you could have brought more, inevitably someone will just have that one item that's been sold out online at a good price and you're left wanting.
  • Plan what you're going to be eating! Look around the area for food options, or think about bringing your own food (check to see if your hotel room has a microwave, fridge). Keep in mind if there's food to be purchased at the convention site it's more then likely going to be quite expensive. 
  • Make a list of every little thing you need to bring, from cosplay parts to device chargers. This may sound like a no-brainer, but the one year I forgot to do this, I left my cash at home. Yeah. Don't be me.

In the Hotel Room

  • Make room rules. Obviously don't be overly strict, but guidelines such as not having boys or girls in the room overnight, not playing loud music past x at night, and so forth might save you or your roommates from getting into disagreements.
  • Think about who is best suited to have the room keys. Who is not only most responsible, but would always answer their phone in case someone needs in at a moment's notice. 
  • Have a rough idea of who is sleeping where so someone who can't fall asleep anywhere but a bed is stuck on the floor with no blankets. 
  • Don't feel shy about asking who is doing what! If you want to join up with a group, tag along with others. They might be going to panels or events you might normally not, so you might do something new and really fun!
  • Unless you're setting someone's stuff gently aside because it's in your way, don't mess with anyone else's stuff. Just, don't.
  • Unless you and your roommates are the closest of friends, not everyone is okay with you walking around naked after a shower or seeing a pile of hair clinging to the shower walls. Don't be gross. And do not, unless it's explicitly okay with all your roommates, bring someone back into the room to be dirty with. 
  • Do not bring illegal substances into your hotel room, or drink when there are minors. Not only is the former illegal, but in both cases, if the police show up, they can find everyone in the room guilty because there is no way of proving only one person was the culprit. Not only could you get kicked out of the hotel, but kicked out of the convention, fined, or arrested.
At the Convention!

  • Before you purchase that figure, think if you could maybe find the item cheaper online. Not saying you shouldn't purchase things from the dealer room in general, but a lot of dealers do mark up items that can be considered pretty common at conventions. Personally, I find buying things from artist alley is a better use for my money, as these items are more unique and the person selling may not even have an online store. Keep in mind that some artists and dealers may give special deals on the last day of the convention so they don't have to haul bak as much product.
  • Don't be rude and block the hallways. There are usually people walking right behind you who would not appreciate if you suddenly stopped. If you want to take a picture of someone's cosplay, move aside to a less congested area. Many conventions have areas just for taking pictures.
  • Don't be a creep and touch people. Even if you don't think it's a creepy thing and you're just admiring someone's costume, it's creepy to touch their wig or dress or what have you. The person may also have issues with being touched. Also, that intricate costume or prop you want to inspect might be very delicate. Always, always ask!!
  • Don't ruin someone else's enjoyment just for your own amusement. Don't just run into a panel room shouting something stupid and interrupting the panel host or jump in front of a photo shoot. I've even heard of people knocking food or drink out of peoples' hands or even hitting others for the sake of "being funny" or because it was "in their character."
  • Don't be stressed!! All this information I'm throwing out may make conventions not seem as fun as they are, but they really are a great time. Don't worry so much about not making this panel or getting to buy everything you wanted. Just relax and have fun!
That's it for conventions 101! If I missed anything, feel free to tell me what you would have liked to have known when you first went to a convention! Also, keep in mind every convention is different, in location, size, and events.

I might do maybe a "Conventions 201" post at some point where I talk about things like running panels or volunteering. I might also do a con experiences post? I know at least I'll be posting about this weekend's convention. See you Monday~!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Waiting on the Mail

Today's OOTD~
Dress & Bolero: WalMart
Bag: Loris
Jewelry: Forever21, Hot Topic
Shoes (not pictured): UNIF

I have a spending problem. This is not a secret. If I have even five dollars, I feel like I instantly have to go out and spend it on something. Usually this something is something I don't really need. The past week I've been spending a little more then I should where I should be saving; mostly online but also some in store things such as the dress and bolero above.

So I guess this is a two part thing, where this is the entry I post what I'm waiting for in the mail, and later I do the actual haul post. I'm hoping that if I make a post like this I won't buy anything until after the local anime convention this weekend, haha. Like all hauls/similar posts, this is in no way bragging, just sharing. With that disclaimer out of the way, let's get started!!

Firstly is something from Amazon, and it's something I'm slightly familiar with as well: Wreck This Journal Everywhere! On Amazon, this book is usually about $10, but it's on sale for $6. I actually have one of the normal-sized Wreck This Journal books, but I got it and started filling it in a few years ago, when I was in a kind of bad time in my life. I don't know, I just feel weird continuing in it. So instead of getting a new full-sized one, I got the smaller one. This one has some different prompts as well! I'm probably going to do a vlog series where I show what I've done in it (you know, like everyone else)!

Secondly is this adorable pair of earrings from the Etsy shop, DoomStuff! Even though I only have one piercing open right now, I love, love ridiculous, big earrings. This pair of earrings combines a lot of things I love: aliens, the 90s, bright colors, etc.! I just heard about this shop from my bestie, but I'm sure I'll be buying from them again, as all of their items are similarly amazing, including jwelry made from computer keyboard keys! This pair of earrings cost $11.

Next is another Etsy item, from the shop AWRecycled Journals! I actually featured this store in an older entry! This journal isn't for me, however, is for my fiance, as he loves Miss Marple. This cost $8.

Second to last is from my very first Aliexpress order! Aliexpress is like an English Taobao, so you don't need a shopping service. The pros of this site are low prices and huge variety, as well as not needing a shopping service like with Taobao. The cons are that many items are knock-offs and the quality of these items are a gamble, and unlike with a shopping service that will wait for all your items from various shops to arrive, the items will arrive separately if you order from different stores. I only ordered two relatively cheap items for my first order. I actually saw this dress first on Taobao, so I was excited to see it on Aliexpress! I love the dotted pattern, it's so happy! This cost only $13.

Lastly is the item I'm probably most excited about - this 90s-esque smiley purse/backpack!! I've been looking for a new happy-colored purse as mine is old and the fake leather is flaking a bit. This is absolutely perfect for my life! This was almost $30, so a little pricey considering it's more then likely a knock-off, but it's so cute I couldn't resist. 

So that's what I'm waiting on, and I'll do an actual haul/first impressions when I receive the items! 

What items are you waiting on?