Daily Life: Not Quite a Picnic

Daily Life: Not Quite a Picnic

Wonderful Afternoon Tea
Originally uploaded by sweetmilktea

I was very excited about today! Instead of a normal, perhaps even boring day at work, there was something to look forward to–a lunchtime meetup in a local park~ That was why I stayed up quite late working on my homework, debated over which purse to carry, and fussed over the fact that I couldn’t arrange a lolita coordinate to wear to work today. At work I skipped about, constantly adjusting my pink rose scarf (a gift from a talented friend).

However, when I got to the park after clocking out, there were absolutely no lolita; not even a familiar face that I recognized. I called my little sister, who had arranged the meetup, but she didn’t answer her phone. Just as I was wondering how long I ought to stay and where else I should look, my phone rang. Apparently everyone had been too busy to spare much time for their lunch hour, and they disbanded very early. She still had plenty of time to spare before her next class, and I wanted to at least drop off something that belonged to her.

Instead, we ended up spending the afternoon together. I really enjoyed myself! I love being with any of my friends–doesn’t everyone?–but I especially cherish the time I can spend with my little sister. ♥ We always have more fun that we really ought to, sometimes getting into trouble but always keeping each other entertained. (Even though she’s a self-proclaimed “Complainasaurus!”)

When we met each other I took her out for cupcakes at one of my favourite shops–Sugar Bliss! My chocolate toffee cupcake was incredibly rich and absolutely delicious, and her spice cupcake was equally tasty. The window that looks out on Wabash is perfect for people-watching, which seems to go well with cupcakes.

Afterwards we ran a quick errand, then decided to browse the Marshall Field’s at State Street. I love wandering around that elegant, massive building–it’s almost like a shopping mall, with all of the sectioned areas that are sometimes rented by specific retailers. I inevitably get lost on the ground floor, usually when trying to get from one side to the next. In Merz Apothecary we couldn’t resist oddly-flavored toothpaste in tiny tubes, and split one that claimed to taste like lemon tea. (It does.)

Then we wandered to the Shiseido counter, which she had recently opened my eyes to the wonders of. (My overly sensitive and ridiculous skin has never behaved so well… Now I’m coveting that highly-expensive scrubbing brush, which I pet at the counter.) We pet some makeup brushes at the MAC display~ Sooooo soft~!

Then we ducked into Intelligensia to sit and chat. I hadn’t been able to see her for a little while, as my work and school schedule keeps me fairly occupied and my little sister also works, attends university, AND was busy with an internship. (She’s such a hard worker~) We moaned about lolita fashion we really wanted, pondered future outfits to coordinate together, and discussed crazy fabrics she planned to purchase for entirely non-lolita purposes.

Despite spending several hours together, it all ended too soon. It did put me into a marvelously good mood, which I hope will get me through my long day of class and work tomorrow as painlessly as possible~ ♥

Meetup Report: Frills & BBQ

Meetup Report: Frills & BBQ

Happy Times Hooray
Originally uploaded by sweetmilktea

Every month, the Chicago-area lolita host a casual meetup known as a “Crafternoon.” Although the original focus was on crafting (hence the name), now the Crafternoons can be anything that involves a) little to no cost and b) no strict dress code. It’s basically an excuse for everyone to get together and socialize. Usually there is some kind of craft involved, both to keep everyone entertained and because it’s fun! The Crafternoon is usually the first Sunday of the month (unless there’s a conflict of some kind) from approximately noon to 4pm.

This month, the Crafternoon fell the day before Labor Day, so a community member suggested a barbeque at her house. I was particularly thrilled with this suggestion because most of the lolita that live in the city, including myself, live in apartments that prohibit the use of grills. (I also love potluck meetups, because it means no-one needs to worry about splitting a restaurant tab or how much money they can spare to eat out.) Also, having a meal arranged for the meetup means that we can spend as much time chatting as we want to–and we like each other’s company a lot!

The hostess’s apartment complex had a lovely little fenced-in yard with a grill, and she brought out tables and chairs for everyone. There was a ridiculous amount of food–almost everyone brought something, and the hostess was extremely prepared! I enjoyed myself a lot because I got to take over the grill! I smelled decidedly charcoal-ish after standing around and flipping burgers, but it kept me nice and toasty in the slightly-chill weather. There was an amazing variety of things to grill–several different kinds of veggie burgers, veggie sausages, hot dogs, hamburgers, and chicken! I even grilled a few pieces of tofu, which tasted delicious despite sticking to the grill like crazy.

The Waders in the Waters
Originally uploaded by sweetmilktea

After a little while a walk along the beach was suggested, as the lake was literally at the end of the street. It started out harmless enough, with intrepid lolita braving the sand in their fancy shoes and socks. Then someone took off their shoes and wandered in the waves, and it all went downstream from there. Pretty soon several girls were in the waves, fully-clothed, and getting deeper and deeper while the rest of us watched them from the shore. I took a lot of pictures! (They’re all on my Flickr~)

Working all week left me too tired to stay much later, but I had a really great time while I was there! I met several new lolita and was able to spend time with those I already knew. Everything was laid-back and a lot of fun. As much as I enjoy fancy tea parties, sometimes the less formal occasions feel so much more intimate. It’s easier to get to know people like that. I can’t wait for next month’s Crafternoon~ ♥

Outfit Snap: Going to a Barbeque

Outfit Snap: Going to a Barbeque

Red Bow Double Bunny
Originally uploaded by sweetmilktea

This month’s Crafternoon ended up being less crafts and more fun-get-together-that-was-rather-Labor-Day-ish. Someone generously hosted a barbeque at their house, which was quite a treat since most of the city lolita live in apartments that don’t allow grills or have space to gather people for that kind of thing. There was a lovely courtyard with plenty of space for tables and chairs (and already with a grill).

Luckily, it even had pretty decor worth taking pictures with! Miss Nena kindly took many pictures for me. I had forgotten to take any before I left the house, so it was certainly appreciated!

I had planned on wearing an entirely different outfit, but when I went to try it on it simply didn’t fit. I looked awkwardly swamped everything–like I was a child playing dress-up in my mother’s closet. (Although that would mean I must have one heck of a frilly-frilly mother.) I tossed together this outfit very quickly, right before we had to run out the door.

This is the first time I’ve had to wear the cutsew given to me by my dear little sister from her trip to Japan in the early summer. The sailor collar is absolutely my favourite part–I love sailor outfits! It really added a different take to the red jumperskirt that I’ve worn many, many times. I almost didn’t wear the large satin bow from the cutsew, but I’m glad I did. It added a nice touch. ♥

Mallow has a visitor in this picture–Miss Nena’s teeny-tiny pink bunny-bear-bag. It’s so cute, but so very impractical as well.

This picture shows off my new haircut pretty well! (Although I’ve had this haircut for a month now…but even though I chose this style because I love lolita so much, I didn’t have a chance to wear lolita fashion since I got the haircut!) I spent some time on my hair, which is rather unusual. I slept in foam rollers to get more than just one ringlet for each pigtail, although the pigtails are nothing new and exciting–but I like wearing them~ ♥

Reading Corner: Northanger Abbey

Reading Corner: Northanger Abbey

Northanger Abbey
Originally uploaded by kadhine

Very recently I completed a task I had mulled over and hoped for many months–I received my public library card! Although that may not seem like something to rejoice over, I shall indeed, as I have been trying to get a library card in the city for quite some time now. The rules for library card ownership are not terribly detailed or difficult, but I could never seem to meet them! My ID does not have and never has had my city address on it, nor does the address match up with my suburban library card for the reciprocal program. This time I managed the affair by bringing in some bills with my name and apartment listed on them.

Although the library card is nothing too fancy, I can’t help thinking about it like it is the most beautiful things~ (I have a bit of an urge to decorate it myself, although I worry that would render it invalid.) Educational children’s shows are right to boast the wonders of a library card! I certainly missed having one!

While the card was being processed, after I filled out the paperwork, I was instructed to wander the library a bit. I gravitated towards the fiction section, but this library is not organized the way I was accustomed to it at my childhood library, so I got a bit lost. I wasn’t able to really look for any of the books I had originally intended on reading. However, near the end of the row I spotted a spine that looked promising, and left that afternoon with Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey.

I haven’t read much of Ms. Austen’s work, but Northanger Abbey was so delightful that I know I shall read more! The story itself is a satire of the typical moralistic novels in the late 18th century. It follows the tale of a young girl who very much enjoys reading Gothic novels–a topic I know I’ve mentioned in my other book-oriented posts~ ♥

Overall it’s a very light, easy-to-continue story. Nothing dips or drags along terribly, and the tongue-in-cheek commentary tucked into the tale is very enjoyable. (If you don’t read much material from this time period, I would highly recommend an annotated version so that you don’t miss out on any of the little jokes.)

There’s nothing specifically “lolita” about the book anymore than something I could draw out with the weakest of connections, but if you’re at all interested by historical England (although this is pre-Victorian) it’s definitely worth some time.

Best of all, the heroine’s love of Gothic fiction provided some direction for my next book! I’m quite excited about starting The Mysteries of Udolpho after how much she and her friends enjoyed it~ ♥