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.

finding the time to invest

I have been a full-time housewife for a while now. While most would assume that I’m living it up, I’m actually gaining knowledge on personal finance and investment. Of course, I still find the time to do a lot of leisure things that I wouldn’t be able to do previously.

During the day, I read finance blog articles and one caught my eye — How Do You Find the Time to Learn Investing. Everybody says the same thing whether they are keen or not in learning about investing, they simply have no time to start. The author of the article argues that it’s not about time management but how we harness our energy.

That’s a possibly theory, but I really think it’s about how much you want to get your butt down to things. Trust me, I had zilch knowledge when I started and to make things worse, I was somewhat “forced” to learn about it. My only idea of money then was: the more the better because that means I can buy more stuff that I like. Of course, the husband would not take no for an answer to learning about personal finance and investment. It was either you learn and start making yourself useful or you jolly well go out to work. So one of the goals of investing simply became to earn enough through investments to justify why I’m not working. It may sound rather silly to set such a goal, but I guess that gave me a push and a little reason to start learning.

The ride hasn’t been easy at all. As we all know, we tend to drag our feet on tasks that we simply have no interest in. Till this day, even after I’ve already levelled up a little on my investment knowledge, I still drag my feet sometimes to read those printed investment articles or find the answers to investment-related questions the husband has. The temptation to do a million other leisure things is just too great compared to reading up on asset allocation or how to hedge currency risk when buying foreign ETFs.

But there are times when I find the energy to search for answers to things I don’t know. Like how I borrowed a book by Adam Khoo on stocks from the library and made it a point to actually read all of it. By the way, that really helped me understand a lot more about investing in stocks. Or how about when I had a debate with my friend on bonds and endowment plans? I had no idea what an endowment plan was and I actually researched on it. To be quite honest, my recent meeting with an insurance agent who was trying to sell me an endowment plan spurred me even further.

There’s still a lot I don’t know, but that just means I got to keep learning. There’s really no easy way out if you want to learn about personal finance and investment. Even when you start investing, you simply cannot have the naive thinking that you’ll make big bucks overnight. It takes time, effort and perhaps a few mistakes along the way. But isn’t that the same for learning any other thing?

So, to my friends who have showed a little interest in the subject, please ditch your “I don’t have time” or “I don’t know where to begin” excuses. I am the proof you need to tell you that it’s doable. If you really want to begin but need a little guidance, I am more than happy to point you to a few resources for beginners, but the rest is up to you.

And to those who say they have no money and cannot be bothered with personal finance, good luck to your future. If you don’t want to begin to change things, nobody can help you. But be warned that we live in a world where reality is harsh. If you don’t already know, the rate of inflation is higher than the bank’s rate of interest for your money in your savings account. I’m not saying that you must do what I do, after all, our financial backgrounds are all different. What I’m saying is that you need to begin saving and planning for your future. If you find yourself chronically in debt or living paycheck to paycheck, examine what has gone wrong in your planning and make the necessary adjustments to make sure your savings are actually growing and not dwindling.

three’s not a crowd

Finally. I’ve been waiting to do this for a long time now. Having observed the first trimester wait, I proudly announce that hubby and I are expecting our first child.

This was my little announcement via Instagram and Facebook:

And then there were three…

Unfortunately, some didn’t understand this picture. I think it would have been clearer with shoes, but we haven’t bought any baby clothes. The pair of chick socks was given by my sister. It’s actually meant for a one-year-old but she wanted to give us something cute for the baby, so she got this. We don’t know the gender of baby yet, so everything bought will be gender neutral for now.

This entry has been cross posted at MUMMY TO BABY, a newly set up blog that chronicles my motherhood journey. I’ll be sharing lots of thoughts, goodies and parenting tips there. So do check it out now and then. No worries, this blog will still be around as it is still my personal ground for ranting and discussing thoughts.

it isn’t the same i suppose

Humans are humans. We are biased just like that.

Something mildly amusing happened to me this afternoon while I was opening a checking account at one of the banks. This lovely bank officer girl was serving me and of course like all sales staff do, she tried to sell me something else. She was explaining that they have a savings plan which has a good interest rate and all I have to do is deposit a part of my monthly salary into the account. So I replied that I already do have some savings plan with other banks (was thinking of our investments and stuff). She then assumed that I was talking about a regular savings account so she said that theirs is a little different. She wanted to launch into this full explanation of what her savings plan offers, but I just told her it wouldn’t be necessary anyway since I don’t have a fixed income. To cut the long story short, she found out that I’m a housewife. That’s when things got a little interesting.

There was a slight change in her behaviour. She switched back to filling in the form of the account I wanted to open and said she’ll explain about the other plan later. Next thing I know, she passed me on to her colleague after filling in the form and turned her attention to another customer. Her colleague thereby helped me open the account (e.g. set the pin for online banking, deposit the money, etc.) After the account was set up, I walked out without even being told of the “special” savings plan.

Haha. She thinks I’m stupid. I perfectly know why she passed me on to her colleague just like that. She thinks I’m just a housewife with no income (aka no money to invest in them), therefore I’m not worth her time. She could talk about all her wonderful products, but if I haven’t got the means to get them then there’s no point talking further anyway. Well, that’s not quite right, but she’s right about her wasting her time telling me stuff because I’m not someone to be persuaded easily. I would do my own homework first before deciding on what product to get.

What amuses me is her little assumption that I’m too poor to invest anything with them. *shrugs* Ah well, there’s no loss on my part anyway. I didn’t have to explain or reveal anything more. I didn’t have to waste more time listening to her explanation of something I wouldn’t even get. A teeny weeny part of me was also rejoicing over the fact that I didn’t have to listen to her slightly broken English any more. It was just chop chop open the account and then goodbye.

But it isn’t the same I suppose — one who has a fixed income and a housewife. Haha.

tired of the world

Just watching the drama on Amos Yee unfold on Facebook. Some of us would recognise him as the boy who acted in Jack Neo’s movie. If you don’t know what happened, Amos got arrested for posting a hate video where he rejoiced over Lee Kuan Yew’s death and made some remarks about the Christian faith. And this is not the first time he has gotten into trouble. How did a cute boy grow up to be so spiteful and hateful?

There are now other articles on him that portray what he used to be like when he was in Secondary school. You can read them here and here.

On the surface, he might seem like an arrogant, attention-seeking little twit, but I think this boy truly needs help before he destroys himself. From the various articles on him, he seems to be an intelligent and articulate person. One who does not silently swallow injustice, but speaks up what he thinks is not done right. There is nothing wrong with that. However, I think he does not understand that most people cannot accept such boldness and that people can disagree with his view. To counter his view, they end up telling him off that he has no right to do so. In which, he ends up feeling sore about the situation. Over time, he grows up being known as the misfit and people shun him. This only leads to him feeling more hate for everyone and everything around him.

It is tiring to be unjustly told off all the time. You’re trying to find a place for yourself in this world, but it seems everyone is just against you and unwilling to hear you out. In the end, the hatred in you just grows and consumes you.

What I think he needs is the patience and concern from people to hear him out. Let him figure out his own emotions. Then guide him how to react appropriately when people do not want to consider his view. Instead of giving up when people react like “I am your senior, so you should just listen to me”, he should give himself a chance to explain his thoughts and give other people a chance to see things from his point of view.