Dec 29, 2011

Pretty of the Week: Chess Story Chess Dress

This dress popped up on facebook over the holidays and was met with an out cry of 'chess chocolate copy!' but to be honest... I adore it. The dress itself looks very much like a Baby design with the construction, color ways and swoops outlining the design. It also reminds me of the bodyline charousel print, or at least the non-border portion seems very similar with the dark/light tone vertical stripes and scattered stars.

But whatever the print makes you think of, I absolutely love this design, especially the dark blue version.

Dec 27, 2011

Books for Lolitas: The Hobbit

Around mid December is the time when I tend to get nostalgic in my reading selections, and with the release of the amazing trailer, that tendency has turned towards The Hobbit.

Many many years ago, long before I'd discovered my frills - before I'd even begun to master the art of reading - I curled up on the couch with my dad and the book he'd brought me. The story was one of a kind, somewhat funny, little man that went on a great journey filled with many adventures and one really impressive dragon. It took a great many nights to work through the story just a few pages at a time. Each night my love of the words grew. Each night I loved the world Bilbo wandered through more. Parts were a bit terrifying. But then, real adventures really should be, shouldn't they?

Those nights began my love of fantasy and of reading. Tolkien holds a very special place in my heart. Through high school I obsessed over his stories. While I adore Lord of the Rings and the epic language and tales of that masterpiece, it's The Hobbit that is my comfort story. Though I've not read it through since starting college, the battered green book with its dust jacket long since disappeared and the water stain and the hand written note from my dad has followed me where ever I went. It's a quiet friend waiting patiently for me to turn around and rediscover its magic. And really, how can one not greet Gandalf as a grumpy but loving grandfather?

Hands down my favorite character. Also, owner of the world's most epic hat.

This re-read is slow, but winding around the celebrations of family seems to be right for such a personal tale - adding in more sweet memories and feelings to recall as I crack the cover. Unfortunately, I can't exactly give a flat review for this one. But a book that has so influenced the genre and is already so well known and well loved isn't one that truly needs a straight review. Rather, I hope that this love can simply be shared with others.

Dec 23, 2011

Holiday Wishes

 May you be joyful this season, no matter how you choose to celebrate.

Dec 20, 2011

Books Games for Lolitas

 I mentioned in my last post that lately I've been playing quite a few games, so I thought I'd make a post on a couple of games I'm loving at the moment. Even if they aren't particularly loli, there are still a ton of fun.

For those of you that haven't heard yet, Skyrim is a hugely amazing game, partly because it is just that. Huge. The world is massive, and there is almost no limit to what you can do. The main quest line throughout the game involves fighting dragons, but there is nothing preventing you from doing tons of other things. Currently I'm attending the Skyrim version of Hogwarts, collecting every horse available, reading every book, following foxes to hidden treasure whenever possible, defying gravity when I get too close to giants, upping my black smith skill and lock picking. The list goes on and on. Oh, and there is an adorable giant puppy following my character around. Beyond the grand scale freedom, the world is just beautiful.

The game isn't perfect. If you can't play in the default first person mode (like me) then battling and aiming is pretty difficult. With a little practice you can get used to it, or you can learn spells that just set everything on fire. Which also works, more or less. And the freedom of the game cant be as distracting as it is nifty, and it doesn't leave much room for story elements. But if story elements aren't as big of a draw for you or you have fun building the story within your own head, then this is certainly a game to check out.

The other game I've been stuck on actually went live last night. I'll start off by saying that you don't have to be a huge Star Wars fan to get into Star Wars: The Old Republic. I myself have a great deal of love for R2D2 and respect for the movies, but at heart I prefer Spock. I really only started playing because I have so much love for Bioware after the Dragon Age series that I just wanted to see what else they have to offer. My husband and I shared a game with early access and so far I'm having a blast, even though at the moment I'm only trying out the different classes to figure out which is the most fun. The game handles pretty much identically to World of Warcraft, so it's familiar to those players and easy enough to master for everyone else. Though it's an online game and there are certainly sections for parties of two or more, the game does a fantastic job of making the story personal through the use of story areas, which only you or your party can view. This means that it's much more story driven than other online games. Voice overs with interactive answering options replace the walls of quest text and answers earn you light or dark side points regardless of the side you choose at the beginning of the game. Answers can also earn or loose companion approval points.

And lets talk of companions for a moment, shall we? Jedi Knights get little droids. Little adorable beeping droids that say cute things like 'Jedi + T7-10 = Adventure!' in cute little sounds and follow you around to help defeat enemies with little electric shocks. I adore the little droid. I've heard you can receive a wookie with a smuggler character, as well, though I've yet to locate that companion.

If you like online games or Star Wars, adorable beeping droids, or maybe are just a fan of science fiction and want something fun to do over winter break that allows you to remain cozy in doors, this might be a game to try.

Dec 16, 2011

Picking Yourself Up

Sometimes in life things happen that aren't strawberries and marshmallows and sunshine. Sometimes things get bad. Sometimes things get really bad. Sometimes there are a lot of things that are really bad and they all seem to happen at once. And sometimes you deal with it by sort of shutting down, if only for a little bit.

Lately there've been a few things that have happened. To me. To people a care about. And I don't think I dealt very well with any of it. While I didn't lock myself in a dark room and learn to brood in a way that would make Batman proud, I know that internally I didn't think of things the way I should have.

What may have made things worse was that it was only on the inside. I still carried on as normal on the outside. I took myself to a meet up and had fun.

And I felt so incredibly guilty about it.

It was as if all the sudden all the things I enjoyed were so shallow. So frivolous. What right did I have to participate in these things when there was sadness around me? When people were in pain? When I was in pain? I felt useless. Greedy. Superficial.

I stopped writing. I wore my single pair of jeans more than I've worn them in a very long time. I  started burying myself in gaming, where I could deal with problems I could face down with button mashing. And then I realized how much better it made me feel. Because I enjoyed it. Because it was fun.

The point of this little self crisis is this: when life is bad, the answer is not to stop living it. And it is certainly not to start feeling guilty for living it. It is those things, those silly, fun, pointless things that everyone enjoys that make life fun. Games to play, books to read, ice cream, sweets, shopping trips, movies, eating out, conventions, meet-ups. Being true to yourself means doing those things that you love. Even the silly ones. Even the ones that seem shallow sometimes. Because you should find a way to enjoy life even when it's bad... especially when it's bad. Because it doesn't last forever.

The bad things, they're there to make the good things better.

And so I did the good things. I dove in and planned two meet ups. I met new friends. I went to movies with my husband and talked about silly things with my friends. I rode a carousel. I learned to make scones that are more than a little awesome and then ate a few too many. I played WoW in my frilly dresses and put my fancy tea in a fancy tea cup.

And I didn't feel guilty at all.

Dec 15, 2011

Pretty of the Week: Fox Cherry Fur Collars

I realize I highlight this shop more than only slightly, though to be fair I buy from them possibly more often. I've always loved their romantic, unique style and the prices lower than some places with half the quality. Lately checking their page has me positively green with envy for all the lolitas living where the weather is taking a turn towards chilly. And this even though I loath cold weather. But I simply can't help but long for these darling collars.

This one with the white rose and deer charm is by far my favorite. Not only is it beautiful, but it makes me think of the times when everything is covered in snow and everyone is thinking of spring anyways.

I also rather like this one as well. It's super classy, and a little bit old school.

Here's one that slightly sweeter.

This one is just fun, and a bit Queen of Hearts.

This set is just amazing. I'd likely never find use for the hand muff, but that doesn't mean I can't love it from afar.

These weren't the only fur collars on the list, simply my favorites. They've added new hair bows and a few new hats as well - I notices a lot of navy, which can be a hard color to find accessories for.

Also, Sanrio is giving away an adorable ceramic mug to their facebook friends this month. All you need to do is print the coupon linked through their facebook page and turn it in at a store when you spend $5. The stores not listed on the coupon are still  participating through a voucher and will have the mugs for pick up in January. This is a great way to treat yourself while getting those last minute holiday gifts. Or, if you've already finished your gift buying, reward yourself by treating yourself twice!

And to any gamer lolitas out there: How are you liking Skyrim?