90s thrift/ charity shop haul

Hi everyone!

I have a new video out, which I’ll link down below. I’m hoping the audio is ok, as I had to use the audio from my camera in the end as I had issues with my microphone! It’s another haul but this one has a bit of a twist because it’s a haul of things I bought from charity shops (thrift shops are from what I’ve gathered are the American equivalent).

I’m hoping to do some vlogs soon so hopefully they will be of interest and make it so my channel isn’t purely haul videos (not that there’s anything wrong with that, ha, ha – I just don’t have the money to sustain it!).

At the moment I’m just trying to film as much as I can (and still write here!) because I’m hoping that will make me less nervous. Hopefully, I’m a little less nervous this time – Martin said I seemed like I was so that bodes well.

In the video I know I mention the price of one of the items but I don’t think I mention the rest. For reference I don’t remember the exact prices but everything was under £10! I think the first item I mention (I don’t want to give away any spoilers!) was around £6, the second around the same and I know the third was £7.

Let me know if there is any type of video you’d like to see me film – I’m hoping to film a vlog style follow me around video next week but we’ll see how that goes (ha, ha).

Also, another fun fact is that I did actually film me trying on the items for this haul but didn’t think it went with the main content of the video so I didn’t include the footage. The reason I’ve been filming try-on’s so far is because I love videos that show the item on someone as well. However, because our flat’s fairly small I do struggle to film them in our space.

April (April is the Cruellest Month)

-Blog posts Thursday and Sundays-

YouTube: @aprilisthecruellestmonth

Facebook: @aprilisthecruellestmonthblog

Instagram: @aprilisthecruellestmonth

Twitter: @aprilcruelmonth

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My planned cosplays for this year

Something I’ve dabbled in but have never fully committed to is cosplay. Despite, running a cosplay magazine; I still never got to carry out my dream cosplays because honestly I let my fear of my cosplay not being perfect or issues with how I looked got in the way.

 

My only cosplays I’ve done so far – let me know in the comments below if you know who I was cosplaying as! 

Even though my whole ethos of my magazine was celebrating anyone who cosplayed, no matter the skill set. This year I’m trying to stop letting myself talk myself out of everything I’ve always wanted to do. So I’m determined to cosplay at October MCM this year. I’m actually hoping one of these cosplays will be ready sooner than that to debut but without further ado here’s the cosplays I’m planning.

I’ve kept them fairly simple in terms of my involvement so I don’t get overwhelmed and use that as an excuse! My aim is to try for each cosplay to at least style or create one element be that the wig or something like making a bow.

Cosplay number one: Cutegirl from the Snotgirl comics

Although, I also desperately want to cosplay as Snotgirl that will require a lot of wig hunting for that perfect shade of green and I have to face the fact that style wise I probably more resemble Cutegirl! One of the outfits that stuck out to me the most for Cutegirl was the first outfit of hers we properly get a look at in the comics, which features a lot of heart motifs. If you look through my wardrobe you’d quickly come to the conclusion that I’m a lover of all things heart as well (plus I already have a dress in a similar colour that I think would work for this) so knew I had to do this cosplay.

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Hair colour wise Cutegirl’s hair changes a lot but in the version I’m planning to cosplay its a peachy kind of ginger (ironically I think around the same shade as the next cosplay I plan to do) and short. Since my hair does not match this description I’ve already planned the wig I’m going to buy and look forward to styling it. Since, this outfit is probably not going to require any construction from me other than styling the wig I plan to make sure I get all the elements how I want (i.e. makeup – I don’t own any coral lipstick so need to pick that up and probably some false lashes as well to get the right lash look – painting my nails is also going to be interesting because I’m terrible at it!).

Cosplay number two: Pearl from Steven Universe

I’ve only just starting watching Steven Universe (so please no spoilers!) so I was a bit nervous about choosing this cosplay. However, I know I’ll have caught up by Comic Con and I’m already in love with the show!

Although, I will be buying the costume itself for this cosplay I do plan to modify the bow on the cosplay as I’d like it to be bigger (so I am going to have to learn how to make a bow!) and styling the wig. Martin and I are also planning to make Pearl’s Spear, as I found some really great videos that look easy to follow on YouTube!

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Cosplay number three: Sailor Moon (Maid Café edition) 

One of my great regrets in life is that I didn’t know about the Sailor Moon maid café in Tokyo until after it had ended. Not that I would have been able to drop everything and be able to afford to go but still (ha, ha)!

I’ve really wanted to cosplay Sailor Moon for a while and this seemed like a good way to get started as it wouldn’t involve attempting to construct a Fuku and the wig will be a fun challenge for me. Costume wise I’m planning to buy the dress and shoes, as well as commission the apron and hat.

Currently however I’m struggling to find the right shade of pink for the dress to wear under the apron. I’ve found the perfect shade for a Sailor Mars cosplay but don’t think I pull off black hair or Mars’ personality!

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I was also highly inspired by Kelly Eden’s great cosplay of this!

There you have it then – all the cosplays I have planned! If you’ve got some cosplays planned I would love to hear about them and if you happen to be going to MCM London Comic Con and are cosplaying from the same universe as me (i.e. you are going to be the Garnet to my Pearl) please let me know! I’d love to do a Sailor Moon maid cosplay group!

April (April is the Cruellest Month)

-Blog posts Thursday and Sundays- 

YouTube: @aprilisthecruellestmonth

Facebook: @aprilisthecruellestmonthblog

Instagram: @aprilisthecruellestmonth

Twitter: @aprilcruelmonth

Tumblr: @aprilisthecruellestmonthblog

I also just want to post a quick disclaimer about the character images – they are being used to show what the characters look like for anyone who doesn’t know; I obviously don’t own the characters in anyway! 

What I got for my birthday: Age 23

I’ll start by saying that of course this post isn’t me boasting though I think considering the popularity of these posts on Youtube and on blogs the attitude towards them has changed. Honestly, the reason I love doing these posts is because I like having them as a log of my birthdays each year. I have a memory like a sieve so it’s nice for me to be able to look back and see what I got and did. Either way, I hope you enjoy this post and don’t think that I’m bragging!

This year I was 23 and ridiculously I wasn’t looking forward to it. I have a complex that the older I got the more I have not achieved enough for my age. I forgot sometimes what I’ve actually done and I should be proud. Also, I should not be paranoid about ageing – my chubby cheeks effectively make that impossible (at least for now!).

First of all thank you to everyone who sent me cards and well wishes, Rosie and her family, my nan and Grandad, Karen (to mention a few) – you all know who you are. Thank you to everyone who gave me birthday money as well, which went towards my Lazy Oaf sample sale expenditure. A few people also got me presents as well on the list I just mentioned including shampoo + conditioner and bath stuff – I’ve not had a chance to try any of this yet so haven’t included it below but it all looks amazing and thank you!

Also, my colleagues at work were lovely and got me gifts, which they didn’t need to do, as well as surprised me with a cake (which, was embarrassing because despite the way I look sometimes I don’t like attention, ha, ha).

From my boyfriend…

A camera!!!

Anyone who knows me is aware that a camera is something that I’ve wanted a long time for taking photographs when I’m travelling, for this blog (!) and because I wanted to start my own YouTube channel. I had suspected this might be what Martin was getting me but he tried to throw me off the scent several times by telling me I hadn’t guessed what he had got me yet. When I opened his present on my birthday my reaction was to yell at him for spending so much but he said he’d been saving up for a while and eventually I conceded to not forcing him to send it back.

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For anyone wondering the camera I got is a Canon 1300D (I also got a cute camera bag to go with it!) and it’s a DLSR so it can take photographs and also shoot video. I’ve already used it to film a YouTube video (check out my last blog post) and take lots of shameless outfit pictures such as this one:

From my boyfriend’s family…

A tripod

Since Martin was in charge of coordinating what I wanted for my birthday he asked his family to get me a tripod to go alongside my new camera for YouTube videos. This came in an absolutely unnecessarily big box so I was very confused when this first arrived but as soon as I knew my first present was a camera I knew what this was.

I’ve only used it a few times but I’d definitely recommend this tripod to beginners as it’s really easy to use and doesn’t have complicated mechanisms (if you’ve used a tripod before you should be fine with this one!)

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From my granddad….

Harry Potter charm bracelet 

This is actually super cute and beautiful. My mum told me my Grandad bought this at a craft fair and I’m not surprised as you can tell that a lot of care and attention went into this bracelet by someone who is truly a Harry Potter fan. I probably am not going to be able to show each individual charm and sorry that I don’t know exactly who made this but it will go great with my Ravenclaw Danielle Nicole bag.

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Owl ornament 

This is a fun addition to my many ornaments that litter our flat. I might try to vary the decor for the seasons so I think this will look great for autumn when I plan to go for a bit more of a muted palette than you are used to from me!

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From my mother…

Miley Cyrus glitter converse

When I saw the Miley Cyrus x Converse collaboration I got very excited and then very overwhelmed trying to decide which shoe was favourite. Eventually, I settled on this low top silver glitter pair as I thought they’d go with more of my wardrobe and I needed a pair of everyday comfortable converse. Since my mum was ordering these for my birthday I went safe with sizing and went for a size 5 (UK) but I think these are a tad too big and I should have ordered the half size. They’re not uncomfortably big however and if you were going to make me into a shoe it would definitely be this one. Still, it’s a miracle they’ve lasted this long without me making them a lot more dirty.

I’m pretty sure but I haven’t investigated yet that if you’re not a fan of the M.C. for Miley on the laces you can take that off. I would love to get the pink ‘Get Out of My Way’ lace locks from Just Peachy to put on here and if I save up enough to make another order (because I know it will be a big one, ha, ha) I’ll definitely post it here.

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From my friend, Callie…

Birthday cake

Every year Callie makes a birthday cake for everyone she knows on their birthday. I insisted that she didn’t have to this year but she is stubborn as a mule so in the end I just let her get on with it. I don’t have a picture because honestly I just forgot to take one but it was a super pretty pink Victoria sponge style cake that essentially was pure sugar! She also got me some Lindt chocolate as well which may or not have fallen victim to my stomach already but was special because she remembered that my favourite is the little blue extra creamy one.

Sugarpill Cosmetics x Little Twin Stars eyeshadow palette 

I’ve wanted this for quite a while simply because it is so adorable. However, I could never bring myself to buy it because my heart told me to get the set even though I wouldn’t wear the lipsticks but wanted the makeup bag and box whereas my head told me I just needed the eyeshadow palette. Luckily, Callie listened to my head and got me the eyeshadow palette, which I love. Honestly, it’s quite small for what I bet Callie paid for it but after trying it out a bit there is quite a bit of product in there. I think this is more for people who really love Sanrio or the particular shades in the palette though. For me, it was worth it for the pink glitter shade in there on its own because it is literally my perfect pink glitter eyeshadow (I honestly don’t know what I’m going to do when I used it all).

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Primark 101 Dalmatians bag 

I’ve styled this on my Instagram already but on reflection I think my face in the image ruins it ha, ha because I don’t think having a grumpy face is really me so am considering deleting the post (but I don’t like doing that so am conflicted). This is such a cute bag and I love that it’s huge as I didn’t really have a bag like that where I can chuck all my stuff in. It will also be a great addition to any Disney trip, as I feel 90% of my wardrobe is me thinking about how it would look at Disney!

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There’s my little birthday haul – thank you again to all my family and friends! While twenty free has not been treating me amazingly so far; I think the rest of this year will definitely pick up!

April (April is the Cruellest Month)

-Blog posts Thursday and Sundays-

YouTube: @aprilisthecruellestmonth

Facebook: @aprilisthecruellestmonthblog

Instagram: @aprilisthecruellestmonth

Twitter: @aprilcruelmonth

Tumblr: @aprilisthecruellestmonthblog

 

 

I started a Youtube channel

First of all, apologises that this is a bit of a short blog post but making a YouTube video takes a lot of effort (ha, ha). Starting a YouTube channel is something I’ve wanted to do for a while but never had the courage or means (i.e. a camera) to do so. However, my boyfriend (Martin) got me a camera for my birthday so I didn’t realise have any excuses left to finally start my channel.

My first video is all about the Lazy Oaf sample sale and my experience there, which I have also blogged about but since I want my channel to support my blog (i.e. I want my videos to be added to my blog posts – since I’m DEFINITELY still going to be writing out my thoughts here too) I thought that would be a good place to start since it’s my latest post. I hope anyone who read that post will tune into the video as although there is of course a bit of overlap it’s not 100% the same content.

So, really in conclusion if you like my blog please consider checking out my channel. I will be posting there once a week to start off (let’s see how it goes!) most likely to coincide with my Sunday blog post. I hope to do a lot more fashion videos there where I show off my strange outfits (I realised recently that although I strive to be Snotgirl I am doomed to be Cute Girl – if you don’t get that reference read the Snotgirl comics).

My first video:

My Youtube Channel handle is April is the Cruellest Month.

April (April is the Cruellest Month)

– Blog posts Thursday and Sundays- 

YouTube: @aprilisthecruellestmonth

Lazy Oaf Summer Sample Sale Haul: June 2018

After not being able to make it to the Winter Lazy Oaf sample sale I knew I had to make it to the summer one, especially as it landed for me luckily right near my birthday so I had a little bit of extra money to spend. This time was quite a bit different from my first experience.

First, of all there was a really nice camaraderie in the queue this time that made my heart warm (people were playing music, games and passing down cookies!) and I met some truly awesome ladies and the general experience was a lot more pleasant. There was a lot more stock this time and I think people further down in the queue stood more of a chance of coming away with things. There was also a 10 item limit, which might have helped. Prices were generally higher than last time though this might have been for me because I bought a lot of stuff from the GEM collection, which is generally more expensive. There was also a lot of one off exclusive pieces, which never went on sale. Inside also didn’t feel as crowded, last time I felt like I couldn’t breathe and there was just hands everywhere. This time when I went in I ran to the rail and started going for everything I wanted; I then realised I could actually breathe as no one else was at the rail!

So before I go I’ll start with the details of the queue. I got there about half past 3 in the morning and me and my long suffering boyfriend Martin were about 9 and 10th in the queue I think (or maybe 10th and 11th). The first 20 people in the queue I think got to go in first and effectively get first pick. The people at the start of the queue had been there since half past 2 in the morning. I personally could live with the wait but Dalston where the sample sale is held is not a safe place at that time in the morning. We were verbally harassed several times and had to call the police. I knew this issue has been reported to the brand before but it genuinely concerns me. Lazy Oaf fans tend to be young females and when some men see a long line of girls when they come out a club (drunk or a lot of the times high on hard drugs) they of course gravitate towards us. Luckily, nothing happened but I really think it’s only a matter of time before someone gets hurt. Although, a lot of the incidents happened around 3-5am when people were getting out of the club; they didn’t end there and people kept coming up closer and closer to the time.

Also, we got there at half 3 because we decided to get the last train into London at half past midnight from where we live and then went to Polo Bar a 24 hour diner (highly recommend it was super yummy though I could only eat my burger because I’m not used to eating at that time!).

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The girls in front of and behind me in the queue were all super nice. Everyone genuinely wanted to help people get the pieces they wanted and I know a lot of people helped each other out, which is super sweet. I also want to say sorry if I was ever blunt at one point – my boyfriend said because I was so tired (we didn’t sleep at all – I had a small nap the day before) I didn’t realise that I was probably coming across more blunt than I meant! I’ve seen most of the girls in front of me’s hauls now and they’e also super cute – I’m so happy they got what they wanted!

So without further ado let’s get onto what I got. I had to put a few items down because I just couldn’t afford it and would rather they go to people who loved the item. One of which was the GEM Leopard print coat because although reduced at £110 that was still a lot more than I wanted to spend. I also had picked up another coat and couldn’t justice two coats! I also put down a Betty Boop puffy jacket that I don’t think was ever released, which had the same pattern as the denim jacket with a pink appliqué Betty Boop on the back. It was super cute but £80 and I don’t think it suited me! There was also lots of the berets and a few bags I wanted/ other dresses but I decided to focus on the pieces I’d been coveting and wanted to buy anyway as I knew I’d get the most wear out of them!

Accidentally but also predictably I ended up basically coming out with all black and pink items minus one purple bag (predictable because it’s a colour combination I’ve been really loving at the moment). I’m also very sad my Iron Fist shoes can’t be a part of this post, as they go with everything I bought but unfortunately I missed the delivery Friday so they are being redelivered Monday as Martin has the day off work.

Update: I thought I’d add my first ever YouTube video which goes through everything I got as well! 

GEM Check, Check It Out Dress

Original price: £90 

I paid: £35.00

I love, love this dress and I’ve been wanting it for ages but couldn’t justify the price! The one I got is from what I can tell in perfect condition apart from the fact that the inside lining isn’t sewn onto the dress. However, it doesn’t hang loose and I can just ask Martin to stitch it or to be honest leave it how it is.

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When you’re so tired after the sample sale (ha, ha)!

GEM Black Fluffed Up Top

Original price: £45.00

I paid: £30.00

This wasn’t much of a discount however this top is sold out and has been for a while so I knew if I saw it I wanted to pick it up. It look super cute with the sleeves and I love, love, love the furry pink sleeves (if you’ve seen my Topshop denim jacket with the pink fur sleeves you’ll know this is a reoccurring theme for me).

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GEM Heart Throb Bag 

Original price: £60.00

I paid: £45.00

Again, another one on the pricey side but this is a bag I’ve been wanting for ages and since I had picked up the check it out dress and pink fluffy sheer top I knew I had to complete the look (I almost picked up the cap too but it is £20.00 and it is currently on sale on the website for £25.00 so couldn’t justify it). It also looks completely new and I couldn’t see any faults at all. For people who don’t know, as I didn’t the bag also comes with complete with a strap inside (I haven’t shown this but can take pictures if anyone wants me too) so you can wear it as a cross body bag too.

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GEM Exclusive Pink Satin Dress

Price: I think £15? I had to ask for the price as there was no label on the dress (the staff were super helpful though and I was pleased to see there was lots of them this year). I’m not sure if that’s right though but when working out how much I spent that’s how much it comes to! 

I’ve seen this before maybe like once from someone on the Lazy Oaf Facebook group so knew this was a GEM piece that was never released. I have a bizarre obsession with having clothing that is rare and no one else has (especially with Lazy Oaf as I am a bit of collector) so knew I had to have this. I’m still not sure if it suits me or is flattering so let me know in the comments. The only thing I don’t like about it is that it says ‘Call Me’ on one of the sleeves which I don’t think the dress needed but you can’t really see when it is on so I don’t mind. I also would like to point out this comes with pockets – it’s also quite short and I’m a small fry but it’s just about ok.

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Exclusive gem dress

Zippy Purple Bear Bag

Original price: I think about £35 

I paid: £15

I have been coveting this for ages but it’s been sold out everywhere so I was definitely hoping this would be at the sale. I couldn’t see it at first in the bag section but my chance I was there having a look through and by chance I turned over and suddenly there it was! The stitching around the trademark Lazy Oaf eyes is a little messy but it’s nothing I can’t easily clean up!

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Purple zippy bag

Queen of Hearts coat 

Original price: £180 (I think) 

I paid: £60 

I knew going in that I wanted to buy a coat, as I really lacked a winter coat last year and knew that a Lazy Oaf option would be super soft and comfy. I never suspected that I would get one of my dream coats (I have the matching dress and beret so this was dream!). The girl at the front of the queue (sorry I don’t know your name!) had this near her, as she was going through what she picked up and I asked if she wanted it and she said no go ahead! I’m so happy I got this and I do think I pull it off better than I did the GEM Leopard one as I quickly tried it on. It’s a little snug but I never do my coats up like that anyway and I LOVE it. The only thing I’ve got missing from that look is the bag (one day!!) and the Dr Martens (which, I wouldn’t get as their leather anyway – please Lazy Oaf do a vegetarian/ vegan collab as the Dr Martens are so cute!).

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Pink Casper Boo dress

Original price: I think about £80 

I paid: £30 

I along with everyone else was shocked when we saw that there was Casper stuff at the sale after we had furiously screenshot the video Lazy Oaf posted on their story. I asked Martin to try and pick up this and the sheer dress but the girls in front of me in the queue got their first, which I’m honestly 100% not upset about as they wanted it a lot more than me and I got the pink one (thanks Martin! – he demanded I put that in here, ha, ha. He also picked up the dress and then ran up to me looking lost and confused!).

This gapes a bit annoyingly at the chest at the button holes the way dresses annoyingly sometimes do and I’m disappointed it’s a bit sheer (it all needs a good iron – so it’s in the wrong household!). However, the collar makes it all worth it and I can just wear a black cami underneath. I also saw someone there with the white Casper top so I think they had a few Casper pieces there.

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Casper dress 2

Capser dress collar

Bonus free top

After you checked out they also had a bit where you could grab free stickers and a free top! This one is actually really cute – I love the pink and red stripes. I think this was a really lovely touch and it showed how much more organised the sale was this year (well done everyone!).

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Overall, then I’m really happy with what I got at the sale. I was hoping for some of the new GEM drop but that might be at the winter sale, as it’s still a very recent addition. However, I’m hoping I will have some of the pieces before then! The atmosphere was also a lot nicer and I was out there a lot quicker than last time (I was in then about 20 minutes to half an hour I think). I also noticed that people didn’t leave piles of clothes on the floor this much this time. I didn’t mind of course when people were sorting through but I always made sure if I changed my mind about something that I put it back on the rails and I think most people did this too, as I noticed a lot of stuff because it had been put back where it originally was. Another thing I noticed this time was that people went for it trying stuff on (ha, ha), which was fair enough, as you want to check the stuff fits but it just shocked me (I think I’m just too reserved as a person)!

Finally, I want to say a big shout out to the lovely group of girls in front of me in the queue, a few of you have added me on Facebook already but please do keep in touch and add me as friend if you want to! It was pleasure hanging out with you all and thank you for all being super lovely. Also, wanted to say a shout out to Jessica Chelsey who I follow on Instagram and who was super lovely in person – it was pleasure talking to you!

April (April is the Cruellest Month)

– Blog posts Thursday and Sundays- 

Facebook: @aprilisthecruellestmonthblog

Instagram: @aprilisthecruellestmonth

Twitter: @aprilcruelmonth

Tumblr: @aprilisthecruellestmonthblog

P.S. There was also a plain white version (as in completely white) version of the Check It Out Dress that I wanted to DIY with a cool pattern but it was £50 so I couldn’t justify what would have been my poor attempt at crafts.

Update: I just realised how this would make a really cool Steven Universe DIY (to look like Pearl’s top!).

Price list
Update: Thought this might be useful for people – this did not include the Betty Boop / GEM stuff which was individually priced.

 

Irregular Choice x Toy Story: My thoughts on the collection

When the news broke that Irregular Choice were releasing a Toy Story collection; I basically lost my mind. Unfortunately, for me the collection debuted on the same day as MCM London Comic Con so I couldn’t line up to visit the shop when it opened. However, I managed to get onto the website at Comic Con after waiting in the queue to see the entire collection, as Irregular Choice only showed some sneak peaks of some of the shoes before the full release. I did however manage to go see the shoes in person after Comic Con at their shop on Carnaby so just wanted to quickly talk through my thoughts on the collection, as I forgot to do so in my May Favourites post.

First of all, the pricing is around standard for Irregular Choice. Essentially, a lot more expensive then your standard high street shoes but still cheaper than designer shoes. With Irregular Choice though you are paying for the craftsmanship and the extra detail – for shoes that stand out from the crowd. If you’re in love with their shoes and general aesthetic their shoes are definitely show-stopping pieces worth saving up for. I currently don’t actually have anything from the collection, as I can’t afford it! However, I do plan to save up for two pieces, which I will mention below when I go through my favourites.

Although, generally I love the collection, the aesthetic for me personally isn’t quite in line with what I wear. I appreciate the theme of making a lot of the shoes interactive and even bolder than usual (which, is hard for Irregular Choice, ha, ha when they’re so bold already) – the shoes themselves feel like something out of a toy box. The way the characters are drawn as well gives off that impression. I’ve also seen through images and videos online that the shoes boxes are slightly different than usual in that instead of sliding out the box lifts up like a toy box. I for one am also in LOVE with the cloud print used on the tissue paper replicating Andy’s bedroom walls.

My favourites from the collection however are probably what most people would call the less dynamic options. My two absolute favourites if asked to choose are the Woody and Little Bo Peep ‘You’re Cute When You Care’ shoes (I also love the matching purse) and the ‘Moving Buddies bag’.

When the collection was announced I prayed for something featuring Bo Peep and I’m glad my prayers were answers in the form of these classicaly  shaped but delightfully quirky shoes. This is because growing up I had a toy sheep, which I loved and because when I was little for the yearly parade in Cleethorpes my mum and I dressed up as Little Bo Peep with me as the sheep!

I actually tried these on in the store but they only had a size 37, which were a bit too tight for me (the size 38 is currently sold out!). Apologises for my Groovy Chick socks in the next few photographs; I don’t like trying shoes on without socks in shoe shops!

Woody and Bo Peep

Little Bo Beep heels

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Little Bo Peep heels

I love, love, love the soles for these shoes and was delighted when I saw that the shoes had Andy on the bottom! The only thing I’d mention is that on Woody’s boot the N is upside down (Andy was obviously younger when he wrote it) and on Buzz’s it’s more neat, as his handwriting had obviously improved but on the Irregular Choice shoes this isn’t the case. However, that is a crazy level of detail to notice and I only realised because of a post on the Irregular Choice Facebook group I am a part of.

These shoes I think would make a great contribution to a Bo Peep Disneybound though because of the heels I’m not sure how comfortable they would be in a full day around Disney!

My other favourite piece in the collection is the Moving Buddies bag. Perhaps, even more than the Bo Peep bag because I know that I would take it everywhere. I am in need of a big bag, which after seeing in person I can definitely confirm this is, to take for days out. I love, love the purple faux fur detail of this bag and I love Rex and Hamm (if I had to chose I’d say I love the Hamm side more because I’ve been loving pink and purple together recently). Although, gold is not generally my choice for fixtures, as I’m much more of a silver girl (it suits my skin tone more!); a lot of brands I like love featuring gold so this would go a lot with pieces I’m hoping to add to my collection!

Hamm bag.jpg
Please ignore my entire presence in this photograph.

The other pair of shoes I would in an ideal world like from the collection but aren’t my priority are the Jessie ‘Rootinest Tootinest Cowgirl’ heels. These are just so unique and Jessie was probably overall my favourite character from Toy Story going up because of her no nonsense attitude.

Jessie collection.jpg

I didn’t try these in the shop because I’m too socially awkward and I feel bad if I know I can’t afford then and there to buy shoes (however, it is useful to go in and check out the sizes sometimes for when I can afford to order). I did however pose with the bag, which is huge. This is super pretty in real life but it doesn’t go as much with what I’m wearing at the moment though it would make a great bag for a Disney trip. I’m also not a massive fan of the shiny strap but that’s just personal preference!

Jessie Bag.jpg

The Hamm stuff is definitely a part of the collection that would go with lots of things I already own. The flats are also a super cute option for those a bit intimated by the size of some of Irregular Choice’s heels!

Hamm.jpg

I noticed that one of the most popular options were the Alien flats and although I love the Aliens and the sparkles; these aren’t as much my style – these did sell out really fast however. The only pair of shoes I was disappointed in within the collection was the Mr and Mrs Potato head ‘Keep Em Together’ flats but only because in my head when I’d been dreaming of shoes that might be in the collection I had envisioned that any possible Mr and Mrs Potato head shoes would be interactive, i.e.  you’d be able to change their faces!

Alien shoes.jpg

The Eternally Grateful clutch and bag are also definitely punchy and I can see why the are popular – just seeing Aliens on anything makes me happy and want to shout ‘The Claw’.

Eternally Grateful bag.jpg

The other pieces in the collection are beautiful in person but I don’t want go on and on about each individual shoe because I’m sure no one cares about my opinion that much. I will say though that I really love the heels with the Woody and Buzz figures but I don’t think I have the finess to style the patterns on the shoes that featured them, which is a shame.

The Buzz light up trainers are also amazing – I love light up shoes but the eye pattern terrifies me for some reason (ha, ha) do despite their light up dreaminess; I’d have to pass on them!

Purses.jpg

Toy story
I REALLY loved Bullseye as a child so the more I look at the more I’m tempted by the bag!

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Toy Story boots

You can see the entire collection on the Irregular Choice website (not sponsored, ha, ha obviously – in my dreams!).

Eye shoes

Let me know if you got anything from the collection or what your favourite pieces from the collection are in the comments!

April (April is the Cruellest Month)

– Blog posts Thursday and Sundays- 

May Favourites

I feel like I don’t actually have too many favourites this month (maybe because I was trying not to spend too much money, ha, ha or maybe because May feels like just the build up to my birthday month). However, I still have some things I’ve definitely been enjoying this month. Even if I feel like my style is a bit all over the place at the moment (even more than usual). All I know is that I have been feeling pink, purples and blacks for some reason at the moment.

One of the main things I’m excited this month about is two pairs of shoes I got. I was supposed to be getting some ‘practical’ shoes that would work with everything/ I could wear to work but were still cute but I failed completely on this mission. In the end I ended up with two pairs of 90s extra shoes. Both the shoes I bought however were from charity shops (if you’re from somewhere that doesn’t have charity shops they are essentially second hand shops where people donate old clothing, books, etc. – not only does it let things be reused but the money also goes to charity).

What I’ve been wearing…

Holo strappy shoes

The first pair I got are these holo (I like to believe Christine aka Simply Nailogical) would be proud) shoes, which I feel like have a distinctive name for the style that I can’t remember the name of.

 

These were £4.50 and I got them from a charity shop where the money goes to help Rennie Grove’s Hospice Care, which provides “care and support for adults and children in Herts and Bucks diagnosed with life-limiting illness”. I tried these on in the shop as I wear in-between a size 4 and 5 shoe and wasn’t sure if they’d fit, as they were a 4 but in fact they are the perfect fit and I love them. I’ve actually worn these for the day and they’re super comfy (probably because someone already wore them in). The only thing wrong with them, which Martin actually pointed out to me is that they have a small stain on one of the inside of the straps that looks like dried sauce (I hope that’s what it is), which is not nice. However, I think with a bit of care and attention I could get the stain out.

Jelly healed sandals

The next pair of shoes I actually got yesterday (so not actually in May but SHHH!!) but I had to include them because I’ve been wanting some jelly heeled shoes for ages! These ones are clear (with a slight purple sheen in person) silver glitter shoe and are actually a size 3-4 so they teeniest bit too small but I couldn’t pass them up. They were £6 and I think need a good wash before I wear them as there is a small grass stain but as they’re jelly shoes they are easier to wash.

I am excited to wear these with another purchase that I’ll be mentioning in this haul to live my best extra 90s, Spice Girls life (as a 90s kid I’m pretty sure I remember owning jelly sandals as a child!).

Also, I’m really going to try and make sure that more stuff I buy is from charity shops and vintage when possible, as I love unique pieces and vintage clothing and it’s good for the environment as well! These shoes were from a  Keech Hospice Care charity shop – a charity who provide specialist care for adults and children with life-limiting and terminal illnesses.

Lazy Oaf rainbow kilty skirt

I had been coveting this skirt for a while so when I was in the Lazy Oaf shop after comic con and saw they had only one left and it was in my size; I knew I had to try it on. Although, its a little big on the waist; it fits perfect elsewhere (story of my life, ha, ha). It’s also sating my Lazy Oaf cravings until the sample sale, as I’ve seen some great pieces for sale on depop recently but I am desperately trying to resist them till after the sample sale).

Lazy Oaf Skirt.jpeg
Sorry about the mark on my mirror/ its dustiness and the socks/ tights/ underwear basket in the background! 

Beret: Just Peachy 

Top: Forever 21 (donated by a friend) 

Skirt: Lazy Oaf 

Shoes: Charity shop 

What I’ve experienced…

MCM London Comic Con

I’ve already done a whole post with my haul from MCM London Comic Con but wanted to mention it again, as I really loved the experience. For years I’ve been determined to cosplay more and am determined this year will be my year – if I don’t do at least one cosplay for October’s con I want someone to ban me from going!

I also have really been loving the Pusheen keyring I picked up there from the Artbox Pusheen takeover. I don’t why I’ve been loving it so much other than its super cute and it reminds me that my birthday is soon!

Birthday cake pusheen

What I’ve been reading…

Sailor Moon manga vol. 4 

I quickly devoured the Sailor Moon manga I bought at comic con and have to say I’m still really enjoying it – I especially love Sailor Pluto and have a feeling she’s going to develop into a favourite of mine.

Sailor Moon Vol. 4

What I’ve been watching…

Brooklyn Nine Nine season 5 finale

After the devastation that hit everyone’s hearts when we thought Brooklyn Nine Nine was going to be cancelled; Amy and Jake’s wedding felt even the more poignant. I also love how they left the season on a cliffhanger (thank god it was picked up by another network!).

The Backstreet Boys singalong scene was another highlight and I don’t really have much to say other than the show continues to kill it!

brooklynninenine.gif

Source: Giphy

Steven Universe 

I don’t know why it’s taken me this long to watch Steven Universe and I may only be on the first season but I love it! I need Steven’s burger backpack and to cosplay Pearl (hopefully planning this for October) and Lapis Lazuli and to be actually in that pastel wonderland. And for Martin to cosplay as the lion.

stevenuniverse

Source: Giphy

April (April is the Cruellest Month)

– Blog posts Thursday and Sundays- 

 

 

 

I went travelling in my first year of university: here’s what I learnt part 2

If you didn’t figure it out by the title this is the second in a two part series. Please make sure to read part 1 to this post beforehand if you want to read about the start of my adventures and my experiences in Paris and Amsterdam. Alternatively, if you’re only interested in hearing about Rome, Berlin and Zurich then you should be able to follow this post with not too many problems.

My most distinct memory of Rome was that it was hot. Also, the driving of everyone there made me fear for my life. At the airport I arrived at it was about an hours drive into the city from what I remember, which was actually quite nice as it meant I got to see a bit more of Italy than what I might have done. However, I just had to not pay too much attention to the other cars (in fairness to the coach driver from what I remember his driving wasn’t too bad). After arriving I spent about an hour in the heat (I am a very pale, freckled person so this didn’t go well) trying to find my hostel, despite it only being about 5 minutes from where I was dropped off. There definitely need to be a more distinct sign for the hostel to say the least – no one I asked seemed to know where it was either. At one point I fully just gave up and bought a giant bottle of water and sat with that thinking about what to do.

Part of me however kind of wish I hadn’t found it. It was a strange place to say the least. The different rooms (which, were gender split) were split only be a curtain. I don’t care about this in terms of gender but it meant that if one room was still talking the other was still disturbed. It was also boiling. I remember there being little to no air conditioning. Generally, the entire vibe of the hostel was just a little off and I was glad I was only staying there for one night until my mum arrived (as I was then moving into a hotel with her).

After picking up my mum from the airport (on my birthday) and settling into the simple, but much more safe feeling hotel; my mum and I decided to explore Rome a bit more. I had explored a little the night before but had left the majority of my sightseeing for when my mum arrived.

Despite, having gone on the tour bus the day before (I mentioned in my last post how I like to do this when possible to get the lay of a city); my mum made me go on it again as our way of getting around. The most memorable places we visited had to be the Colosseum and the Trevi fountain though I was disappointed that it was closed so we kind of had to throw a coin in from afar (therefore running my Lizzie McGuire movie moment). We also went to Vatican City because we wanted to see the Sistine Chapel but the tour guides there told us to visit there we had to visit the Museum and St Peters Basilica as well. I wouldn’t have minded this but that would cost 50 euros each, which we didn’t have budget for! We’d prioritised the Sistine Chapel because me and my mum had really wanted to see Michelangelo’s infamous artwork in person. In the end we didn’t end up seeing anything, which is probably one of my biggest regrets of the trip! I definitely plan to visit Rome in the future again to rectify this.

Food wise unfortunately the one time we had a proper sit down meal I wasn’t that impressed with the pizza (I think we made the mistake of going to a tourist trap!) but I loved all the fresh fruit that was available. I also had some amazing strawberry gelato near where we stayed and we also went to the magnum shop where you can make a customisable ice cream, which was super fun and delicious (and I think was one of my mum’s highlights).

Another thing to note as well in Rome is that when I was in a church there (I’m pretty sure it was the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore); I was wearing a strappy top because of the heat and was asked to cover up with a shawl, which they provided. I’ll be honest the feeling was strange but I respected the wishes of the church as I was a visitor and complied. I just wanted to flag to people who present as female that may be asked to do this.

After Rome I said goodbye to my mum and headed to Berlin. I was lucky there that on my first day I met a friend who visited some of the attractions with me. Not only did we explore the artwork on the Berlin Wall, which was one of my favourite things to visit in Berlin because of the inventive ways artists used the wall for social commentary but also because of how something they transformed something that tore a city apart. We also visited several of the museums that explained more about the history of the wall. As I’d studied the wall partly during my A levels the history fanatic of me loved this part of the trip. Food wise I didn’t have a ton of luck from what I remember this day as the restaurant we visited didn’t really have a vegetarian option! However, I did have a beer, which was a mistake because we then went up the Berlin TV tower Fernsehturm, which if I remember correctly has one of (if not) the fastest elevator in Europe. I probably should have listened when my server asked if I was sure if I wanted a beer without any food!

I did have some pictures of this day and the tower but they sadly as far as I can see have been lost! I remember distinctively though wearing my Nishe navy dress, which I’d worn my first time at a nightclub at University (and was probably my fanciest dress at the time).

There was though some really nice food options in Berlin. Walking around the main tourist bits without looking up where to eat I did struggle a little to find meat free options that weren’t sweet. However, near where my hostel was a small Turkish takeaway that served me the best falafel wrap I’ve ever eaten. I’ve actually had Turkish food in Germany since then and seriously its so nice there! I also enjoyed devouring all the bread I could find, specifically the Bretzels. I did also keep eyeing this cheesecake in the local supermarket to me but never bought it because I’d have to ask at the counter and was scared about my pronunciation – this is something I really regret. You can only improve by trying and if you don’t try you might miss out on some great experiences. I also didn’t realise when I went how many vegan places there are in Berlin (though not sure if this was as much the case then though I did spot one vegan place that served ice cream).

Also, I had my hostel room to myself for pretty much the whole trip because no one else stayed there while I was there. Before, I forget I wanted to mention for those new to hostels, please make sure you read all their terms and conditions as some hotels charge a little more for the bedding/ towels (I took a towel with me on the trip but only took a small suitcase so couldn’t take anymore) so this may increase the price of your trip. Some places also charge a tourist tax (usually a few euros a day) – this only happened in Italy for me however. Some hostels as well like to hold onto a piece of ID for insurance or a security deposit so keep this in mind too!

Other highlights for me included visiting Charlottenburg palace, which was a little surreal compared to parts of Berlin I walked through. It was beautiful though and I loved walking around the grounds – I regretted not bringing my running gear as it would have been a lovely run. Also, this trip reminded me that a lot of public toilets in Europe charge (at least in the big cities) or have a toilet attendant where it is good practice to leave a small tip. So try to make sure you keep a bit of change with you as it can be a difficult otherwise when you’re out all day. In Amsterdam I was able to go to a toilet in a cafe for free when I was really desperate but please be aware!

After Berlin was onto Switzerland and Zurich (which, is on the side closer to Germany of Switzerland, however, the German spoken there is a strange mixture of German and French so if you understand a little of both you can piece it together). Zurich was one of my favourites to visit simply because I loved hiking up Uetilburg. This was despite not having the right shoes or clothes. I saw some people run up and it was steep enough that I thought they were insane.

Zurich

The air was just so fresh and the water from the water pumps, which I used to refill my water bottle, was amazing. I hiked to the top and also visited the restaurant at the top there and had so very expensive chips but I had to eat because I was starving from the walk and had only brought some snacks so it was worth it in the end. At the top you can climb up a tower where you can look at the view (there were love locks there too- see my previous blog post, ha, ha). It was bit windy so it was a little terrifying but breath taking.

I decided to walk past this point and down to the fields past the top. Despite, getting throughly lost and it starting to get late in the day I loved the experience. Probably because I managed to find my way back in the end by looking for the tower and literally walking towards it.

Zurich itself also has some beautiful sites and I’d definitely recommend walking around the city (it’s very small so very achievable). However, a lot of what I noticed was very expensive shops so this is definitely a place for if you have some money spare! I didn’t try fondue because fondue for one felt a little lonely (don’t be me if you go though eat your fondue for one!) but I did consume a lot of Lindt because it was relatively cheap and there was so much of it (Lindt is probably my favourite chocolate)!

Another thing I found strange was how giving change for large notes was expected there. I actually had asked the people at the hostel if they could change a note and they said not to worry about it as the people in the local shops would have no issue changing it.

I also visited Rhein Falls, which is a short train journey away on my last day and I wish I’d had the time to visit the other side of the waterfall. I had some great photographs from this, which are sadly lost and it was so beautiful. I don’t know if I would have been brave enough to stand on the plinth in the middle of the waterfall and had it past me (as I can’t swim) but I would have loved to have spent the day there).

So, that was my trip to Europe. It was short and sweet but made me feel like a world traveller and ignited my passion for travelling to new places. I would say overall what I learnt from the trip was simply just do it! Don’t be afraid to pronounce things. Don’t let silly reasons get in the way of you trying things. You may never visit somewhere again so make sure you have that experience. I managed to go see lots of things on my bucket list but there were still lots of places or things I regretted not doing. The only things I honestly regretted not buying wasn’t things but experiences!

April (April is the Cruellest Month)

-Blog posts Thursday and Sundays- 

 

MCM London Comic Con haul: May 2018

Despite how many years I’ve being going to MCM London Comic Con and how many times I’ve been to the Excel centre; I still managed to almost get lost on the way there. However, we ultimately did make it there and made some friends in our confused state on the way (I’m lucky that I’ve always had lovely experiences with the people I’ve met at cons and on the way to con).

This year was one of the first times in a while I felt like I was going for me. Therefore, in the end I didn’t take as many pictures as I usually would because I just wanted to relax, enjoy the con and have a chill time (hence why I chose to go Friday, as it’s generally one of the quieter days). I also had a little bit of money to spend this time so actually had some joy looking at the merchandise. Though maybe because I actually had money; I was actually less tempted than usual. I did ultimately pick up some goodies, which I wanted to share, as I lot of them from independent artists and that is always nice to share and promote!

Pusheen x Artbox 

This was one of the stalls I knew I definitely had to visit at con and it did not disappoint with it’s Pusheen goodness. I really was mostly interested in the pins but to purchase the pins you had to buy an item to be able to buy each pin (i.e. buy one item you can buy one pin, buy two you can buy two pins, etc.). I could only really afford to buy one item and a pin even though I really wanted two of the pins (pins you could chose from are below).

☆~~ Pin Giveaway ~~☆ We are thrilled to present the complete collection of enamel pins from the Pusheen x ARTBOX collaboration (yes, there is a third one; it's sparkly and can be worn as a collar chain)!! . You'll be able to pick up these beauties at the Pusheen x ARTBOX booth at MCM London Comic Con this weekend and ARTBOX Covent Garden next weekend, but for those of you who can't make it ~ we are giving away the full set of three pins, to THREE lucky winners! TO ENTER: . • Follow @artbox_uk and tag a friend in a comment on this post (1 ENTRY) . and/or . • Upload a photo of your Pusheen collection or Pusheen outfit, tag @artbox_uk and @pusheen in the photo and use hashtag #pusheenartboxuk (5 ENTRIES) . ————————– . Giveaway is open worldwide, and closes on 11th June 2018. Winners will be drawn at random. Two winners will be selected from Instagram and one from Facebook. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Instagram. #artboxuk #pusheen #pusheencat #pusheenthecat #enamelpin #pingame #pingamestrong #pusheenicorn #stormythecat #superpusheenicorn

A post shared by ARTBOX Covent Garden (@artbox_uk) on

In the end I decided to get the unicorn pusheen pin (it was between that pin and the pastel one) because I liked how it could double up on a shirt collar if I wanted it too.

pusheen-unicorn.jpg

Pusheen unicorn 2

Luckily, I was able to find an item that I wanted to buy that was also something that was really cute (not hard when its pusheen) and that was a birthday cake pusheen keyring. I wanted a keyring, as thought it would look cute on one of my bags and I liked the birthday cake pusheen because it’s my birthday coming up so I love all things birthday at the moment.

Birthday cake pusheen.jpg
Birthday cake pusheen or me in pusheen form.

I also wanted to visit the Artbox store because I knew there would be a competition to win a GIANT PUSHEEN.

Giant pusheen.jpg
MY SON!!! (I know Pusheen is a girl, I blame Pixielocks for this, ha, ha)

Although, I know I will not win this competition I am still stubbornly determined that I will and desire it with my whole heart because I am pretty sure the pusheen length wise is about as big as me. Though I’m not sure if the giant pusheen you win is the size of the one above or below – either way I want it!!

Overall, I really loved the Pusheen x Artbox collaboration because the ice cream sundae theme was pastel perfection. So much so that I couldn’t bear myself to throw away the leaflet I got with my purchase because it was just too cute (I mean look at Pusheen’s little hat!)

Pusheen x Artbox.jpg

Pokémon Sylveon purse

I’ve been wanting to get another purse for a while now so when I saw that this adorable Sylveon purse was only £8 I couldn’t resist. I also liked how it was a bit smaller than some of my other purses so that it could be used to accompany smaller bags or when I don’t have a lot of room in my bag!

 

 

 

 

 

I still can’t decide on my favourite Eevee evolution so it took a few minutes of deliberating before I chose this style but I thought the pink and blue would match a lot of what I have in my wardrobe already. This purse also came with a little bag of sweets (which, I unfortunately can’t eat because they’re haribo) and a badge that I thought was a super lovely touch.

Sailor Moon manga vol. 4 

I’ve been wanting this volume for a while now because I needed to know what happened next so when I was finally able to find a stall that sold manga (I kept seeing stalls with manga in the title that only sold anime) I couldn’t resist this. I was also very tempted by The Ancient Magus Bride manga but decided to resist for now and go with the Sailor Moon because I am already in the middle of reading the series. I’ve actually already read this volume and I love it – I sense Sailor Pluto is going to become one of my favourite Sailor Scouts.

Sailor Moon Vol. 4

Sailor V Pop Figure 

In keeping with the Sailor Moon theme I also picked up this Sailor V Pop figure because I’d been eyeing it for a while on Forbidden Planet because it was an exclusive (so wanted to get it while it was available). Sailor Venus is one of my favourite scouts and I love this look and figure however I was a bit disappointed with the figure’s quality. As you can see in the image the paintwork by her feet is messy and both her feet can’t go on the stand at the same time because either her feet aren’t far enough apart or the stand is made incorrectly.

Sailor V Pop figure.jpg

Geen Jones artwork

So now let’s finally get onto some of the amazing artwork I picked up. The prints by Geeno Jones were reduced because they were old/ some had slight imperfections. My untrained eye didn’t notice any issues and I really loved the print of the girl with the cherries in her hair so much I had to have it.

Cherry print hair

I’m not sure if I’m going to frame these or what I’m going to do with them! I know I want them on display somewhere however.

Geeno Kiki.jpg

I had to of course pick up their Kiki print (I don’t think I can resist any Kiki’s Delivery Service artwork).

Yuri on Ice prints.jpg

One thing I noticed at con was that there was a LOT of Yuri on Ice merchandise (which, I’m not complaining about). I managed to resist a lot of it but had to pick up these adorable pastel prints of Yuri and Viktor. These I definitely think I want to frame (maybe in a special double frame) and have on a table or alternatively on my wall somewhere.

If you like Geen Jones’ artwork you can find them on the below links.

Etsy: geeniejay

Here’s some of my favourite picks from their shop:

At the Flowers girl cafe print

Pastel Witch print

Cats of Anime print

Instagram: @geeniejay

Facebook: @geeniejay

Twitter: @GeenJones

Morgana Amelia artwork 

I only picked up two stickers from this store but I love, love their work so can definitely see myself picking up more in the future. I’ve recently started watching Steven Universe (which, I love!!) so could not resist picking up these Pearl and Amethyst stickers.

 

 

 

 

 

I doubt I’ll ever be able to commit to sticking them on anything though because they are just too pretty.

If you like Morgana Amelia’s artwork you can find them on the below links:

YouTube: jelliebee

Twitch: jellie_bee

Twitter: @missjelliebee

Instagram: @missjelliebee

I personally wish I’d picked up this beautiful piece of artwork!!! So if you’re at con and you see their stall, don’t be silly like me and get this before it’s too late!

Weiliwonka stickers 

I for some reason bought a lot of stickers that I’m going to be unable to stick anywhere this con but I just could not resist these two sets of stickers featuring all my Studio Ghibli favourites.

Studio Ghibli stickers 1

Studio Ghibli stickers 2

If you love these stickers as much as me you can check out Weiliwonka on the below links:

Blogspot: http://weiliwonka.blogspot.co.uk

Twitter: @weiliwonka

Instagram: @weiliwonka

Facebook: @weiliwonka

The Custom Cupcake Company cupcakes, fudge and brownies

I couldn’t of course go to con without picking up my favourite fudge in the entire world. Both Martin and I picked up a box (which, surprisingly are still partly intact). As always the staff were super friendly and helpful and everything was covered in glitter – I can never fault them!

 

 

 

 

 

So here it is my small(ish) MCM London Comic Con haul. I hope everyone who went to con had a great time and please do comment below with what you picked up or any artists’ work you admire!

April (April is the Cruellest Month)

-Blog posts Thursday and Sundays- 

I went travelling in my first year of university: here’s what I learnt part 1

This Thursday we’re going for a bit of a Throwback Thursday (is that still even a thing?), as I’m going to reflect back on my travels that I’ve been on. The majority of which happened at the end of my first year of university (over the summer period). Also, a pre-warning to any world travellers out there, my travels are restricted entirely to Europe because I’ve yet to venture outside of there (though I really hope to do so in the future!).

So at the end of my first year of university after being a bit shy for the year and not really engaging in university life despite many opportunities to; I decided that I wanted to go travelling. I loved visiting new places and I felt confident enough to go on my own. I decided on Europe because back then I had only been to a handful of places in Europe and really wanted to visit the capital cities I heard so much about! In the end I decided on Paris, Amsterdam, Rome, Berlin and Zurich.

I think when I booked everything I just stayed up late one night and did it all in one night, ensuring I printed everything off for both me and for my mother (as she requested an itinerary, which is fair enough). It didn’t take long and then the trip suddenly came around. On the actual journey there I was excited and ready to go. It wasn’t till I hit Paris and my hostel room when I realised that the excitement had suddenly transformed into nerves.

First of all, I quickly realised that I had made a mistake in booking my first hostel room for my trip and it was a mixed dormitory instead of only females. The reason I’ll be honest I had decided to go with all female rooms was simply because I was more familiar with that atmosphere. The mix up didn’t really bother beyond making me feel slightly nervous about how to navigate the unexpected situation.

However, I was determined to have a good time and decided to continue with my plan to go drink wine and watch the sun set at the top of the Sacre Coeur. But first supplies. I made the trip to the nearest small supermarket picked up some snack bars and lots of water (and importantly some cheap $2 euro white wine because I’m blasphemous). After convincing my roommate that this was a good idea (it was their last night on their European adventure so I think they thought ‘why not?’) we headed up to Sacre Coeur. While, I remember making some attempt to seem less boring than I actually was; I remember at the same time just being myself (not as much as I feel comfortable enough doing now but more than usual).

The lights going down as I drank more and more wine (opened thanks to my companion luckily having a handy bottle opener – which, they later nicely donated to me – a story on that later). Some lovely British students studying in Paris approached us and the next thing I knew I was learning about how sauce Algérienne is great with chips and seeing the inside of their cool, chic apartment (cool because it was Paris – student digs are infinitely more appealing there). Despite, their friendliness and my mild tipsiness I still felt very uncool but I have a great memory of staggering back at 4 in the morning through Montmartre (which also happens to be where all the sex shops are so was slightly concerned but it was thankfully abandoned). Luckily, our roommate who had not been there when we left didn’t mind us quickly getting ready for bed.

My other roommate who remained for the rest of my trip from what I can remember was a character. They were from South America (my apologises to them but I can’t remember specifically were). They had been studying in France and wanted to visit Paris before they left. While there they had met a girl who he was very upset about leaving (he tried to illicit my help in crafting a love letter for her because I told him I studied English Literature, however, I’d also never written or had received a love letter). He was nice and he told me how he just walked all around Paris to explore everything and ended up walking probably about ten miles. He also, asked if he could borrow the room for his last day with the girlfriend, which I obliged (later, realising this was probably a mistake, especially as I had to awkwardly drop off something as it was too heavy to carry).

Paris was a dream. I loved the architecture; the museums (especially D’Orsay) and still want to go back there now I’ve done all the essential tourist parts (like climb all the Arc De Triomphe steps, as well as all the ones possible for the Eiffel Tower and see the Mona Lisa) and explore some of the ‘off the beaten track’ experiences – especially the vintage clothing shops and the Dali museum! I also regret not eating in the Amélie café and not eating enough patisserie.

Another Paris favourite of mine is the love lock bridge where lovers leave a lock on the bridge inscribed with their initials and chuck the key into the water (therefore symbolising that their love is forever). I’m not sure if this is allowed anymore because the bridge became too heavy and was starting to be crushed by the weight of the locks. I also heard they were auctioning off some of the older locks to help the problem. Do compile your own research however. I personally hope that there is a way that the bridge can be kept alive.

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Also, if I remember correctly my period hit for most of my trip to Paris! I don’t have much more to add about that but it felt relevant somehow. The bottle opener I received I had to leave behind in Paris unfortunately for someone else to find and take with them (the person who gave it to me wanted it to travel as far as possible) because I realised on my trip to the airport that I probably couldn’t take it with me as I was only travelling with hand luggage.

Next, came Amsterdam one of my other favourite destinations but also a great revealer of my naivety. One of the girls in my hostel asked if there was any coffee shops nearby, which caused me to foolishly reply that I thought I’d see a Costa at the train station not realising she meant a special kind of coffee shop! The hostel I liked to mention was called Hostelle and was an all female hostel so I didn’t have the opportunity to mess up my room booking there. It was a little outside the main centre of Amsterdam, which was nice for me because I wouldn’t stay out to the latest train back anyway on my own) and it meant the surrounding area was a lot quieter.

Amsterdam is simply beautiful. The flower market, with every kind of bloom you can find, surrounded by cheese shops, which gave out sublime samples of cheese and truffle, was a particular highlight. The Anne Frank museum was as emotional as you can expect – I remember reading her diary when I was younger and thinking about how we shared the same birthday and finding it weird that I shared a connection (however fragile) with someone so brave. The Van Gogh museum was one of my personal favourites because I’ve always wanted to visit and Van Gogh is one of my favourite painters (which, is most definitely the influence of my mother). I was sad that Starry, Starry Night wasn’t there but I loved seeing all the paintings of his I hadn’t seen before. When I think of Van Gogh now I get stupidly emotional though because of the Dr Who episode, as I just think about how his life might have been different if he’d realise the way his paintings are valued now. I would love to actually read more about Van Gogh so you might see a blog post in the future on this biography of Van Gogh when I can afford to buy it (I also think it might better accompany a blog post about the museum/ a trip to Amsterdam).

My first full day in Amsterdam was spent in the company of two lovely women from Australia. It was great to have the company (I was grateful for all the new people I met on my travels). We went on a bus tour of the city together (something, I’d always recommend as it gives you a good idea where all the landmarks are so you can walk to them later) and visited a famous diamond museum (not much fun unless you can afford diamonds). I also had the opportunity to see some windmills but wish I had taken the opportunity to go visit one. We also went to the Hard Rock Café in Amsterdam, which I’d never had the opportunity to visit before. This was a little out of my price range of spending as little as possible each day (ha, ha) but I’d never been before and I had a great time with two lovely people.

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(I’ve cropped the lovely lady next to me out of the picture out of respect because they might not want their face shared here!) 

Also, for anyone wondering my budget for each day was set at about £20-£25 a day (for food, souvenirs, travel, etc.) and for the most part I stuck to that by prioritising adventures over eating out in restaurants.

I did visit the Red Light District in Amsterdam with some people from the hostel who wanted to go and all I can say is that it is very surreal. I didn’t do the whole stretch because it was too overwhelming after about five minutes but the windows didn’t feel freeing. I understand the benefits of regulating a business by helping workers to have more rights but whether that is being achieved there I can’t say.

After Amsterdam I travelled to Rome and had the worst hostel experience of the trip, but that is a story for my next blog post, as I’ve decided to split this post into two parts! I decided this because I think covering everything would have been way too big of a blog post that no one would want to read. I’m also to be honest struggling to find the motivation to write this week (or do anything) so thought it might be better to split this post up to give me the opportunity to hopefully feel more uplifted next week (the next post will be next Thursday).

That summer I also worked as an Au Pair in Germany and would love to write a blog post on that experience if anyone’s interested – if you are because it’s something you are thinking about doing, let me know in the comments below (or if you’re just generally interested).

I want to also apologise for the lack of photographs of my trip – they got lost with the death of one of my laptops and it’s something I’m still sad about. I looked awful in them and they were not amazing photography but I can see those moments in my mind and I’m sad the physical representation of that is mostly gone.

April (April is the Cruellest Month)

-Blog posts Thursday and Sundays- 

 

P.S. I’m pretty sure my first blog post for this blog was about my travelling experiences but I panicked, deleted it and didn’t touch this blog for a while – look how far I’ve come (ha, ha).