Saturday, 29 March 2014

30 Day Random Challenge Day 19: Do a Simple Braid

Yesterday, my challenge was to do a simple braid. I was able to do a good one quickly, so I wore the braid I made to Uni yesterday. It was nice to wear a different hairstyle out. Because I enjoyed wearing it and it was simple, I think I'll wear a simple braid again in the future. Unfortunately, yesterday's weather was not hair friendly, which made the braid messy but it still had structure and was decent. I guess I should have done this braid before attempting the Dutch and French braids. Maybe I'll do the simple braid a few times before attempting those two again.

Above: The simple braid I did. Sorry about the messiness of it but I will do it again in nicer weather. I think it does look good on me though.

Friday, 28 March 2014

30 Day Random Challenge Day 18: Read a Manga from Ciao

Yesterday, my challenge was to read one of the manga series from the issue of Ciao I have had for a while but have not got around to read. Ciao is one of the most popular Shoujo Manga magazines in Japan. The series I read was Nijiiro Prism Girl by An Nakahara. The blurb to the series and one chapter (as of now) is found here.  The chapter I read was about Nijika rehearsing a dance for a contest and performing when she had an injury that was caused during the rehearsal. It wasn't something I would have chosen as a manga book but I did enjoy reading it and I liked Nijika's helpful and determined personality as well as her cute pet Kapitama-kun. It would be nice to find Nijiiro Prism Girl as a manga book (ideally in Japanese).

Nijiiro Prism Girl
Above: The cover of Nijiiro Prism Girl Volume 1. Source: MangaFox

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

30 Day Random Challenge Day 17: Repeat a Failed Challenge

Today, my challenge is to repeat a challenge I have failed. The failed challenge was to spend at least 20 minutes doing handstands. Even though I did not succeed in doing a handstand, I improved by first doing the entire 20 minutes in four five minute blocks. I also felt that my handstands were vertical even though I could not hold them though. Maybe it was practice or the fact that I changed my technique and I felt so energised while doing them. Because of that, it was nice repeating this challenge again and in the future, I would like to do handstands at least once in a while.

Above: A picture of a handstand on the beach. I wish I can get my handstand to look this good and be able to manage this variation. Source: The Undeniable Ruth.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

30 Day Random Challenge Day 16: Eat Hot Chips with a Can of Soft Drink for Lunch

Today, my challenge is to eat hot chips with a can of full sugar soft drink. Normally, I would have diet soft drink and I rarely eat chips. Because of that, one of my challenges was to eat chips with soft drink, which I decided would be creaming soda. I thought I would have enjoyed this challenge but it was hard eating them as I started to feel full less than half way through. Also, I do enjoy drinking creaming soda but the flavour was taken away by the chips and I could not help but think of something better to eat than just chips (and most deep fried things). Interesting how things don't always go as planned and I think I'm just fine only having chips rarely.

Above: A picture of hot chips. I don't know why but I think I'm starting to find them too fatty for my taste. I used to enjoy them though. Source: The Sydney Morning Herald.

30 Day Random Challenge Day 15: Wear a Bracelet and a New Pair of Earrings

Yesterday, my challenge was to wear a bracelet and a pair of earrings I have not worn. I decided to go with a bracelet that has rock like beads and a pair of dangling earrings. Usually, I only wear dangling earrings on special occasions but I chose those earrings because they seemed to somehow match the bracelet. One good thing that happened yesterday with wearing the earrings was that I got a compliment! I hope the challenges later on result in something positive as well.

Above: The bracelet I wore. I forgot I had this bracelet but I think it's nice.

Above: One of the earrings. Not something that I would have chosen (It was a gift) but it's something I like.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

30 Day Random Challenge Day 14: Do a French Braid

Today, my challenge is to practice doing French braids. I was only able to do two today. My first one was a big mess but my second one had a structure but was really loose and somewhat messy. Maybe the second one was somewhat neat because I have done the Dutch braid fairly recently and both the French and the Dutch braids are similar. I guess I'll be practicing more and when I do a decent Dutch/French braid, I'll show it.

I can't believe it's been two weeks since I started doing my 30 Day Random Challenge. Here's to the next 16 days.

File:Classic French Braid (2).JPG
Above: A French braid. I hope to get mine that nice one day. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

30 Day Random Challenge Day 13: Draw a Pokemon

Today, my challenge is to draw a Pokémon. For this one, I chose one of my favourite Pokémon, Plusle. I love the electric rodents because they are cute but somewhat powerful (they're not the strongest but they make up for it with their charm). While struggling to find a Pokémon that was easy to draw, my eyes turned to the Minun soft toy I have. I then thought of drawing Minun's "cousin", Plusle. Using the instructions from Drago Art,  I drew a Plusle.

It was fun drawing Plusle and maybe I'll draw Minun in the future. Maybe in the future, there could be an electric rodent that is an Australian rodent (e.g. antechinus, bilby etc.).

Above: My drawing of Plusle. I know it's not perfect but I rarely use Paint and not everyone can be a talented artist, despite what you think when you see fanart.



Friday, 21 March 2014

30 Day Random Challenge Day 12: Spend at least 20 minutes Doing Handstands

Today, my challenge is to spend at least 20 minutes doing handstands. At first, I decided to split the 20 minutes into four five minute blocks but I was only able to manage three of those (15 minutes) unfortunately. I did attempt doing handstands a lot but I wasn't able to do a proper one. Because it was something I haven't done in a while and the point of this 30 Day Challenge is to do things I would not usually do, I thought this would be a good challenge, which it was. Maybe tomorrow's challenge will be something that I can do.

Above: A handstand. I wish I can do this one day. Source: Maria's Farm Country Kitchen

Thursday, 20 March 2014

30 Day Random Challenge Day 11: Wear a Random Pair of Earrrings

Today, my challenge is to wear a random pair of earrings. Usually, I wear the same pair of earrings day after day or I don't wear any earrings. So, I chose to wear a different pair of earrings as a challenge. I ended up choosing my diamante flower studs. I first thought they were too formal for going to Uni in but I ended up being more comfortable in them as the day went on. I guess that was because I'm not used to wearing accessories normally. Maybe by the end of this challenge, I'll decide to wear accessories more often.

Above: A close up of one of the diamante flower studs.

30 Day Random Challenge Day 10: Find a Youtube Video related to a Lolita Brand

Yesterday, my challenge was to find a Youtube video related to a Lolita brand. I found a video of Angelic Pretty at AniRevo 2013 in Canada. It was about it's Canadian debut. I found the clip interesting and it made me think about how AP should come to Australia. It would be hard to organise an Australia wide event due to the size of this country. However, if AP can do it in America and Canada as well as China, I don't see how size can be an issue. The fashion show at the beginning was nice. I would like to be in a Lolita fashion show one day but I feel that I don't have the right body shape to do it now. A brand Tea Party in Australia would be nice as well and I hope I can pick up brand at short notice if I don't have any at that time (I do have one brand piece but it's a tote bag though).

Oh well, who knows what could happen in the future. Even later this year is a mystery.

The video is here.

Above: A shot from the AniRevo Angelic Pretty video. Source: Youtube

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

30 Day Random Challenge Day 9: Find a Youtube Video of Son Yeon Jae

Today, my challenge is to find a Youtube video of Son Yeon Jae. She is my favourite Rhythmic Gymnast because her routines are full of character and she is a joy to watch. However, in Australia, sports such as Rhythmic Gymnastics aren't very popular. Instead, most Australians prefer sports such as rugby, AFL and cricket. However, I don't like those sports.

I watched all of Son Yeon Jae's routines for 2014 and my favourite one is the hoop routine because she emphasises the character in the music and the elements in the routine are very effective. Even the ending is amazing (not giving any spoilers). Unfortunately, the only way I can watch Rhythmic Gymnastics on TV is during the Olympics and the Commonwealth Games, which will be on later this year. Because South Korea isn't part of the Commonwealth, I won't be able to see Son Yeon Jae compete though :(.

Her hoop routine is here.

Above: Son Yeon Jae at the London Olympics. Source: The Korea Herald

30 Day Random Challenge Day 8: Download a Song From a J-Pop Group I Have not Listened to

Yesterday, my challenge was to download a song from a J-Pop Group I have never listened to. I decided to download a recent song from Morning Musume. I have heard of them before but I have never listened to one of their songs. I ended up downloading "ウルフボーイ (Wolf Boy)", which wasn't what I expected from an idol group. It was funky but was more Electro-Pop. It even changed tone but it was subtle, which is nice and I did enjoy listening to it. No wonder why they have been able to last over a decade if they can be this creative. Because of this, I would recommend listening to Wolf Boy at least.

Above: Current line up of Morning Musume. Source: Hello! Project Wiki

Monday, 17 March 2014

30 Day Random Challenge Day 7: Do a Dutch Braid

Today, my challenge is to do a Dutch Braid. I first attempted the braid in the morning but it turned out really messy and affected the ponytail I had to do just before I left home. Later on at night, I practiced doing a Dutch Braid a few times and I still couldn't do it well. I have done a Dutch Braid a few times but it has never been perfect. I guess I need to practice it a bit more before I wear it in public.

After today, I will have to do some minor changes to a few of the challenges in order to be realistic.

Above: A Dutch Braid. I hope one day I can do one. Source: Land of Hair Styles.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

30 Day Random Challenge Day 6: Find a Youtube Video of the "Lolita Best Friends Challenge"

Yesterday, my challenge was to find a Youtube video of the "Lolita Best Friends Challenge". It was quite hard as the challenge was first done in September last year. However, I think there will be a lot more of that challenge by the end of this year.

The video I found was the original one by Kat from Hello Batty with her Lolita best friend, Davina. The video can be found here. They were entertaining to watch and it was interesting seeing their beginnings as Lolitas as well as what their opinions of each other were. Also, their Lolita dreams were quite interesting as well as the prints they made up (watch the video if you want to see them).

The reason why I found out about the Lolita Best Friends Challenge was because Rosalynn from Lolita Wonderland did it but as far as I know, her video has not been posted yet. Maybe one day I'll have a Lolita Best Friend.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

30 Day Random Challenge Day 5: Spend 30 Minutes doing Yoga

Yesterday, my challenge was to spend 30 minutes doing yoga. As I haven't done yoga for a long time and don't exercise as much as I should, I thought this would be a good challenge. I was right as yesterday was a pretty bad day for me and I didn't feel like exercising. At first, I thought about doing this in three 10 minute sessions but I ended up doing the 30 minutes in one go.

It was interesting seeing how even something as simple as sitting cross legged was hard. I guess that was because I haven't done it for a long time. Overall, doing yoga was invigorating and I will try to do yoga at least once a week from now on. During the 30 minutes the hardest pose for me was warrior III, which is where you stand on one foot with the other leg being at a ninety degree angle behind and the rest of your body being in line with the non supporting leg. It was hard keeping myself still in that pose. Here's hoping I can hold the Warrior III pose for at least 10 seconds in time. Another pose which I found hard was the Shoulderstand. I have never been able to even achieve that pose but if I practice, I should be able to improve.

The easiest pose for that session was doing a straddle pose called the Seated wide legged pose. It was easy to do but still a stretch. At the end of the session, I decided to do the splits to finish the session.

Above: Warrior III pose. (Source: Yoga Life Journey)

30 Day Random Challenge Day 4: Wear a Scrunchie

On Thursday, my challenge was to wear a scrunchie. I have several scrunchies from Japan but I have never worn them until yesterday when I wore one. I can't believe how well a scrunchie can hold a ponytail even though it's a gathered tube of fabric. No wonder why female gymnasts seem to wear them quite often.

When I was a teenager, I thought that only children wore scrunchies until I saw some young mothers wearing them in Japan. From now on, I think I'll wear the scrunchies I have every now and then.

Above: A photo of me wearing the scrunchie. As this is my first time doing a selfie of a hairstyle, please forgive the quality. If anyone has any tips on how to take good selfies, please share.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

30 Day Random Challenge Day 3: Wear a Hello Kitty Accessory

Today, my challenge is to wear one of my Hello Kitty Accessories. Even though I have a few of them, I don't wear them that often. Because of that, I chose that as one of the mini challenges.

I decided to wear my Hello Kitty studs because they were easy to put on and different from my usual choice of earrings, sleepers. Even though it was nice having a change from what I usually wear, not much changed today. I guess some challenges will not be as interesting as others will be. I hope tomorrow's challenge will be something that will be more challenging.

Above: One of the Hello Kitty studs. I haven't worn these a lot but I do want to wear them more often. Sorry about the quality of the photo, mainly the earring.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

30 Day Random Challenge Day 2: Search For Something in Japanese

Today, my challenge is to search for something online in Japanese.

I thought of looking for kombucha in Japanese. In English, kombucha refers to fermented tea. For an explanation of it, please look at It explains kombucha and provides a link on how to make it but keep in mind the health benefits are anecdotal. At first, I thought kombucha (こんぶちゃ) was the same thing in Japanese as in English. However, it refers to seaweed tea. With the help of Wikipedia, I soon realised the correct term is (紅茶キノコ), which literally means "Black tea mushroom". It does make sense because the microbial culture that grows looks like a mushroom.

Above: A jar of kombucha with a glass of it. From the website featured below.
Before I introduce the website that I found, I would like to talk about why I decided to use kombucha as my topic to search for. Ever since I heard about kombucha and its reported health benefits, I wanted to try making a batch but finding a SCOBY (the starter or "mother" culture) is difficult because I don't know anyone who makes kombucha and I haven't been able to find any bottled kombucha for sale.

The Japanese website I found from a search of 紅茶キノコ is here. It first talks about the benefits of fermented food and gives yoghurt as an example. However, it talks about how dairy is full of hormones and other things that are supposedly bad for your health (personally, unless you are lactose intolerant/allergic to dairy etc. I don't see any problems with dairy). It also goes on about how dairy can taste good but it isn't that good for your health. It talks about how kombucha offers similar benefits to yoghurt and gives instructions on how to make kombucha.

It was interesting to see how similar Japanese health food lovers are to Western health food lovers. Nevertheless, it was quite a provoking blog post and made me think about how lucky I am to live in Australia, where the use of hormones in livestock is more or less illegal. It was also interesting to see that it was published in 2011, before kombucha became popular among health food lovers in Australia.

Monday, 10 March 2014

30 Day Random Challenge Day 1: Find 5 Lolita prints featuring Ice Cream

To push me out of my comfort zone, I have designed a 30 day challenge of various challenges that I have placed into a box and will pick a different one to do each day.

Today my challenge is to find 5 Lolita prints featuring ice cream.

First is Meta's Crown Label's Sweets Parade Apron Pinafore Dress, which was released in 2012. Adding an apron to Lolita would be difficult to pull off because it could end up looking a bit like Maid Cosplay in my opinion. I do like the various types of ice cream on the print with some lollies and coffee/tea. Having back shirring on the JSK does make it fit a variety of body shapes.

Next is AP's Milky Planet OP, released in 2010. It is one of my Dream Prints. The reason why I love it is because the print is a world full of ice cream and I have such a big sweet tooth. Unlike most prints, the print is all over the OP as there is smaller motifs above the main print part. Because it is very colourful, Milky Planet can be coordinated with many colours.
Creamy Soda Pop Skirt
The next piece is Baby's Creamy Soda Pop Skirt, released in 2010. It has ice cream sundaes in a tall glass as well as milkshakes. One thing that is nice about this skirt is that three of the four colour ways (mint, offwhite and pink) are similar to the colours associated with ice cream flavours. The tulle and bows near the hem of the skirt also add to the ice cream effect, which is making me crave a sundae right now.
 The next dress is AP's Strawberry Parlour Tiered JSK. The background of the print partly resembles a French Café exterior. I like how instead of multiple ice cream flavours of the other prints, this one focuses on strawberries and strawberry flavoured ice cream. Instead of using tulle lace at the hem, this JSK uses eyelet lace, which is different for AP JSKs.
 The last piece for this post is Baby's Ice Cream OP, released in 2007. Compared to the other pieces in this post, you can see features that are rarely, if ever included in current OPs. They are the sleeves and the front corset lacing on the bodice. The print is also different as it has smaller motifs all around the fabric and there is stripes and polka dots at the same time on the OP.
From this post, it's interesting to see how different prints portray one theme in a different way from each other. I wonder what's next for ice cream prints: maybe chocolate and ice cream will be combined just like that found in AP's Strawberry Parlour?