KOKOkim kurage hime no yuutsu

I have a whole list of other (overdued) stuff to blog about but I just have to blog about this. XD

Model Kimura Yuu is hailed the queen of fairy kei and she has her own line of clothing called KOKOkim. Fairy kei has existed as a genre of Japanese fashion for some time now but I never quite felt a connection to it. I love pastel colours but I could never see myself wearing poofy petticoats, cutesy sneakers and casual tees with somewhat loud prints. A little ironic isn’t it since I am into lolita fashion which has poofy panniers.

Well, that was how I thought about fairy kei until now. Over some time, fairy kei has slowly seeped into lolita fashion and the line between the two genres have sort of blurred. There are now fairy kei pieces that can be accepted as sweet lolita pieces albeit a little more casual in style.

What caught my eye was this particular KOKOkim piece. I follow Yuu’s LINE account where she posts updates frequently. She posted this picture of herself wearing a gorgeous dress back in mid-July. I knew for sure that it was from her clothing line, but could not find the print on sale on the website.

(Yes, like I said before, I’ve recently come to love and been scouting for high-waist dresses since I got pregnant.)

Just this month, it was finally announced for sale on the website! The print is called ~人魚姫の憂鬱~ (~Kurage Hime no Yuutsu~) which means ‘the melancholic jellyfish princess’. The dress comes in three colourways: pink, blue and white. I decided that I preferred the OP over the JSK. Although the print is a lot more obvious on the blue colourway, I felt I preferred the pink colourway a little more.

Photo credit: KOKOkim

I also caught sight of a pair of tights on the website that would go very well with the OP.

Photo credit: KOKOkim

Oh, but the prices are way too high! I mean, what do you expect? This is buraando. T_T

After so many days of stalking the website, the M size pink OP is finally sold out. Just as well. I cannot see myself forking out ~$300 for the dress. I have tons of buraando lolita pieces in my wardrobe, some of which are rare pieces which I forked out an arm and a leg for, but this…my feel for this dress is just ok. Not really something I would die to have. And so, I have to let it go…

(I’m quite sure I can find similar tights on Taobao at a fraction of the cost. Just need to scout around more.)

life is not all about grades

A long overdued entry, but here it is…

A friend posted a sad piece of news on Facebook some time ago. It’s about a straight A student who committed suicide over two Bs in her O’levels. Shortly after her death, her mother followed suit and committed suicide as well.

I’m not going to retell the whole story as you can click on the link to read the full article, but I will share my thoughts on it. My first reaction was “Two Bs and she got so upset? Oh my, she really shouldn’t have.” Grades aren’t everything. Sure, good grades perhaps pave a better way towards a successful career that’s characterised with high pay and impressive titles, but who really knows what the future holds? At 16, do you even know what you want to do in the future?

Grades and Life

I use myself as an example. I scored three Bs and four Cs in my O’levels which meant I could not even smell the air of Junior College. That was alright since I already set my mind on studying in a polytechnic. Three years of polytechnic flew past and I scored mediocre grades. Not good enough for a local university, but I got a place in US college. Fair enough again since I never really wanted to attend a local university and I was lucky that my family could afford sending me overseas. Four years apart from my family in an unfamiliar country really opened my eyes. There was a pressure to do well as most of the other Singaporeans in the college were on scholarship and were expected to score a high GPA. I took that as motivation to study hard and finally earned a degree with honours. Of course, that degree got me a good and well-paying job. After two years, I quit and became a homemaker.

Moral of the story? I scored shit grades for O’levels and an average GPA in polytechnic, yet I managed to get to college and earn a degree with honours. So what? After that, I still ended up being a homemaker. Grades do matter a little, but they don’t write your life. Life is about the choices you make and the experiences you learn from. There are so many things that cannot be taught from books but must be learnt through experience. Do I regret my decisions in life? Maybe a little…definitely could have put in more effort in studying a lot earlier. But do I regret how my life has turned out? No. I have chosen this path to walk in life and along the way I’ve learnt so many things. These experiences become a part a me and shape who I am.

Many a time I’ve overheard students telling their friends that their parents expect them to end up with at least a Master’s degree. Are you even sure that’s what you want for yourself? Or is that just your parents’ wishes? Having a goal in life and working towards it is good, but you must be aware that there can be changes along the way. Again, no one knows what the future holds. Your thoughts may change due to whatever reason and you divert from your original path. And who’s to say this diversion is not good?

Kiasu Parenting

I don’t even know where to begin with this one. You hear of parents sending their two or three-year-olds for this and that enrichment class. Then, you hear of students going for two tuition sessions for the same subject. Parents, are you raising kids or zombies? Is all this really necessary? You didn’t go through this kind of childhood and you turned out fine, didn’t you?

If you think about it carefully, it again goes back to what characterises your life? Only grades? Or more than that?

As a mum-to-be, I can only say that I hope that my child does well in all aspects of life and not just be book smart. The last I want is a child that answers “studyyyyy~~~” like a robot when someone asks him/her what he/she does in his/her free time. (True story, by the way.)

While parents can hope that their child excels in everything, you should know by now that every kid is different. Each person has his strengths and weaknesses. It’s the same for education. Some have the aptitude for academics, others don’t. As parents, you can give your child a little push to make sure he doesn’t play too much and neglect his studies, but you shouldn’t go overboard. Everyone has a breaking point and you really don’t want your child (or even yourself) to reach that.

having faith

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders, let me walk upon the waters, wherever you will call me. Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander, and my faith will be made stronger in the presence of my saviour.

— Hillsong United “Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)”

I just wrote an entry in my other blog about prayer and faith, and this song came to mind. I first heard this song at the Jayesslee concert and fell in love with this part of the song. The words are very powerful and seek to motivate.

Disclaimer: I’m neither of Christian nor Catholic faith. I’m just a free thinker who believes there is a God or higher power/s up there.

SG50 funpack

The funpack is usually only given to National Day Parade spectators, but because this year is special — Singapore’s 50th birthday — and everything also SG50, every household gets a funpack.

First, it’s good to note that this year’s bag is a canvas tote bag. Feels thick and of good quality. Even has a zip.

Second, there are a couple of designs printed on the tote bag. Some are submitted by common folk. You can view all the designs here.

Third, items in the bag are largely similar though there may be a few variations. (Sometimes I think it’s because some item ran out so it is being replaced by something else.)

So, what did my family get?

I was hoping for one of those with a “uniquely Singapore” icon like the dragon playground or singlish phrase. I got Dick Lee’s design which features the lyrics to “Home”. Not too bad I guess. I like how it’s “handwritten” and not in a typed out font. Feels more authentic and genuine.

Items included:

  • Singapore flag with stand — Seems like they include this in the funpack since like two to three years back? Great for collecting and trolling your colleagues.
  • Bottle of NEWater
  • Sample packs of Super coffee and cereal beverage
  • Sample pack of UIC washing detergent
  • The “ingenious” balloon torchlight — Yup, it’s always sponsored by AKIRA.
  • Haw flakes and lollipop — Supposed to be tidbits/candy from your childhood to bring back that sense of familiarity and nostalgia. My in-laws got the Smarties-wannabe candy in the 8 blister pack.
  • Pack of SNAP cards and country erasers — Another one of those items from your childhood. Of course, the country featured on the eraser is Singapore. My in-laws got the blow up paper ball and chapteh.
  • Singa figurine — In case you don’t know, Singa is the lion mascot from the national courtesy campaign. Our Singa figurine is wearing the police uniform. My in-laws got a Singa figurine wearing the old Army uniform.
  • Some temporary tattoos
  • Card with the Proclamation of Singapore — A piece of history — back to when Singapore first gained independence.
  • Map of National Day activities

Would have been more thrilled to receive more tidbits like KAKA, Tora/Ding Dang chocolate balls, Mamee, Bee Bee or even the 10 cents bubble gum with a temporary tattoo wrapper. Oh well.

Enjoy your funpack and look forward to this 9 August. 🙂

angelic pretty special sets

Just joined another lolita Facebook group which provides updates on new releases. Couldn’t help noticing that AP seems to be releasing a few special sets at their Tokyo outlet as announced on their blog. Not sure what’s the occasion but oh well.

Photo credit: Angelic Pretty blog

Photo credit: Angelic Pretty blog

Photo credit: Angelic Pretty blog

Photo credit: Angelic Pretty blog

Photo credit: Angelic Pretty blog

Photo credit: Angelic Pretty blog

Dresses released in special sets are usually simpler than the original releases. I must say that the prints are nice but nothing really caught my eye. Out of all, the Dramatic Rose special set seems the nicest, but I find it a bit too flowery for me. I was pretty excited about the Dreamy Planetarium print but not so for the JSK in the special set. Much prefer the original OP, especially the navy blue with coloured prints version.

Photo credit: Angelic Pretty

The lavender version of the OP isn’t too bad too.

Photo credit: Angelic Pretty

I’m not too big a fan of cutsews but I must say, the cutsew in this series looks pretty good. Especially the navy blue version. (The difference between cutsews and blouses are that the former is usually made of cotton material and worn like a t-shirt, whereas the latter is more of a button down shirt.)

Photo credit: Angelic Pretty

But of course, the pretty items get sold out the fastest. The OP is already sold out.

PS: Ever since I got pregnant, I’ve been looking a lot at high-waisted lolita dresses. Haha.

rekindled love for lolita

Ever since I graduated from college, I’ve not touched my lolita dresses. I don’t really have space for all of them so the hubby is saying I should sell most of them. But…it’s hard to part with some of these dresses. Some of them are rare sought-after prints which I went through a lot to get my hands on them. So even if I haven’t exactly worn them, they are like a collection, a precious lot.

I always dreamt of taking part in tea parties and lolita photoshoots while in college, but Chicago was not that nearby and by the time I came home, Black Alice had closed down. Coupled with work and the adjustment to married life, my lolita dreams just floated away.

But hey! I’ve recently found a new community. The Singapore lolitas have banded together to form a community on Facebook. Talking about lolita stuff again, I feel like my lolita love has come to life again. <3

And before I know it, I’ve ordered a new dress with a Little Prince theme from Taobao.

Photo credit: Thinkfly

I’ve always been a little wary of offbrand dresses due to their quality. No decent lolita wants to be branded as an “ita-loli” (meaning you look all wrong and bad). Many lolitas back then used to scoff at offbrand dresses with bad scratchy lace and short skirts, and would rather stick to the safe mainstream brands. But burando costs a lot more and lolita fashion ends up being this really expensive hobby.

Thank goodness, the times have changed and the offbrand dresses are getting more decent in quality and style. It started out with a few brands like Infanta and KidsYoYo, but now there are surprisingly a lot more offbrand brands out there. What’s comforting to know is that lolitas have also become more accepting towards offbrand dresses.

Although I’ve always been a sucker for JSKs (jumper skirts), I chose to get the OP (one piece) version of the dress simply because…DARN, I have too many JSKs already. And with this kind of hot weather in Singapore, short sleeves are the way to go yo. This is also my first time venturing into the realms of high-waisted dresses. Always thought high-waisted dresses make one look pregnant. Uh…but I AM PREGNANT now and I need more room around the waist to accommodate the growing belly. High-waisted dresses have also always been a mystery to me. Does one wear a normal pannier for the poof? Or do you wear an A-line pannier? Thankfully with the new community, my question got answered. A normal pannier is fine too.

Can’t wait for the dress to arrive. I better make it a point to wear it then. Haha.

Also, better start thinking of how to shrink down the current lolita collection before the hubby goes on and on about them again. Heh.

see you again someday, my friend

Every morning when I wake up, the first thing I do is to check my phone. The usual…Whatsapp, LINE, Facebook, etc. Social media has indeed made the world a little smaller; news reaches us a lot faster. Except, I really didn’t want to wake up to this piece of sad news.

I wish it were some cruel joke or rumour that we sometimes see being passed around on Facebook. But no, the source of the news is credible. Days ago, I was still commenting on an article that you posted about Tesco making a blunder. And now, you are gone.

I remember you being an advocate of social media and its uses in the modern world for PR and communications. As much as you were a teacher, you were also keen to learn from your students. I saw the twinkle in your eye when you viewed our presentations for an assignment. I imagined that you were amazed at what some of your students could do.

You were more than a TA and mentor to me; you were a friend. When I graduated and went to say goodbye, you sat me down and talked to me about my future plans for education. Despite your wish that I consider going to grad school, you respected my decision that I was not ready yet, and that I wanted to go home and settle down with work and family. When you became a Professor, you were kind enough to keep reminding me that your promise of writing me a letter of recommendation for grad school still stood. When I decided to stop working, I wrote to you about it and you respected my decision. You have always respected my decisions in life (education) and work. Thank you so much.

If I have one regret, that would be that I’ll never have the chance to show you around my home. I have been hoping that one day you will stop by Singapore and I can let you taste all the good food we have here.

Life is indeed too precious and time waits for no one.

I will miss you, my friend. I will especially miss writing to you every Christmas.

Rest in peace, Owen Kulemeka. Till we meet again someday.

mummy to baby

I haven’t been blogging here much recently, but that’s because I’m busy enjoying my pregnancy and blogging at my other blog — MUMMY TO BABY. XD

This is my first time trying out writing with a theme. It’s pretty much a blog that shares information about pregnancy and parenting. A lot of baby-related stuff there.

This will still be running as it’s my personal space to share my thoughts, so do check back once in a while. Alternatively, you can follow my Twitter account to get updates as every blog post is announced on it.

what’s in your heart?

I’m halfway through a rather interesting anime titled ココロコネク (Kokoro Connect). At first I thought it was a romance anime, but it turned out to be not quite that. It’s a little deeper than just about the friendship between five high-schoolers.

These five friends find themselves in unlikely situations all because of a spirit called Heartseed, who is able to control their thoughts and souls. In the first part, Heartseed switches their souls with their bodies. They learn about each other’s real selves through the experience. Just as they figured out one another, Heartseed begins another experiment by making them act upon their real desires/thoughts without any interference from their consciences or ability to reason.

I couldn’t help but begin to think what if it happened in real life. I think I could handle body swapping, but acting upon my real desires/thoughts? I think I’ll just end up hurting a lot of people just like the characters in the anime did. And of course, what do we do when we have such thoughts? We keep them inside (restrained by our ability to reason) or stay away from the people whom we think we’ll end up hurting. Again, just like the characters in the anime did.

Then, one of the characters said this:

If you play it safe the whole time, you’ll lose what’s important to you.

— 後藤先生

The meaning of his advice was to talk to the very people we want to prevent ourselves from hurting them. He believes that only by talking things out, can there be a possibility of reconciliation of friendship. If you stay away from the person, nothing can be done and soon the friendship will fade away.

I think that statement is rather powerful by itself. I can’t help but start thinking about my own relationships with my friends and family.

all about me

Haven’t done this for some time, but I came across this blog prompt on Blog Matter and I just have to do it. 🙂

  1. My name is: Elisia Phua
  2. My birthday is: 10 April
  3. I live in: Singapore
  4. I am currently studying/working as: a full-time housewife
  5. I have been blogging since: 2004
  6. I blog about: random thoughts and topics I feel strongly about, product reviews, and my parenting journey…all three at different blogs
  7. My blog is called [REAL ME] because: that’s how I want people to know me and that’s a song title by one of my favourite Japanese artistes, Ayumi Hamasaki
  8. I love watching: Criminal Minds and anime
  9. I love reading: random magazines and books. Right now I’m reading Sophie Kinsella’s Shopaholic series.
  10. I love doing: random things that I fancy, which includes watching anime, reading, cross-stitching, etc
  11. I love playing: brainless games on my phone like Hay Day and Tsum Tsum
  12. I love listening to: Japanese pop music. AAA is currently top on my list.
  13. I love collecting: books and random lolita-related stuff. I hardly have any more space in my book cupboard but I just can’t stop myself from buying more books. In fact, the number of books unread trumps the read ones. There’s just too many books to be read! I collect lolita-related paraphernalia like magazines (KERA and Gothic & Lolita Bible), catalogues (Angelic Pretty and Baby the Stars Shine Bright), postcards (illustrations by Imai Kira), etc.
  14. Favorite book: I don’t have a favourite book but I do have a few authors that I follow.
  15. Favorite movie: I mainly dig Japanese movies.
  16. Favorite song: Currently AAA’s PARTY IT UP and 風に薫る夏の記憶 (Kaze ni Kaoru Natsu no Kioku)
  17. Favorite TV show: Criminal Minds
  18. Favorite game: Hay Day
  19. My pets: Used to have three goldfish but they died. No pets now.
  20. My tattoos: None
  21. My piercings: Two on right ear lobe, one on left.
  22. If I was a fruit I would be a: strawberry. So sweet and girlish, even though I’m not totally like that.
  23. If I was a season I would be: Spring; new beginnings.
  24. If I was a tree I would be a: sakura tree
  25. If I was a stone/gem/mineral I would be: a pink diamond
  26. If I was a planet I would be: Mercury
  27. If I was a superhero/supervision I would be: someone who could teleport. Less time wasted travelling…haha.
  28. If I was a color I would be: pink
  29. If I was an animal I would be: a cheetah
  30. If I was a word I would be: love
  31. If I was a number I would be: 1
  32. As a child I wanted to be a: teacher
  33. Something I like about myself: I have strong beliefs in certain things, yet I am mild-mannered.
  34. I am proud of the fact that I: finished college with honours and got an Advertising award. Never been a high achiever until I entered college.
  35. My invention for the future would be: nothing. I’m not much of a creative idea person.