Thursday, February 28, 2019

Alternative Fashion Shopping in San Francisco

San Francisco is such a fun place to be and it's amazing if you want to do some shopping because you are surely to come across some unique finds! Whatever you want, you could probably find it some where in the city. I feel super lucky that there are both Gyaru and Gothic Lolita shops accessible because I am a BIG fan of Alternative Fashion. Here are some places worth checking out if you are visiting or even local. I am consistently on the look out for fun and upcoming places so I will revise and update whenever possible. If you know of some places not listed but worth noting, please comment below or drop me a note :)


15 Kearny St, San Francisco, CA 94108
If you love Lolita Fashion then this is where you must stop and visit. It is small but conveniently located close to Union Square and just a 2 minute walk from Montgomery Bart Station. They are usually well-stocked unless it is a popular series or item it may be sold out online before it even reaches the shelves so best way to stay informed is to subscribe to their newsletter. They are also available for shipping worldwide.

Harajuku Hearts | https://www.harajukuhearts.com
15 Kearny St, San Francisco, CA 94108
Sharing the same space and same staff, Harajuku Hearts also import Japanese clothing brands but carries more Gothic Styles as well as more casual everyday (but still Kawaii) wear. Brands they carry are Atelier Pierrot, Enchantlic Enchantilly, Listen Flavor, Putumayo, Emily Temple Cute, Q-Pot, Royal Princess Alice, and a few other ones. I like this for more casual everyday wear when I don't feel like going all out in Lolita.


Baby, the Stars Shine Brighthttps://shop.baby-aatp.com
1746 Post St, San Francisco, CA 94115
Located in the New People Mall in Japantown, here is the very first Lolita store to open in SF! Just as cute and adorable as Angelic Pretty but slightly more 'mature'. Alice and the Pirates is also here so if you find yourself in Japantown be sure to swing by.

MARUQhttps://shopmaruq.com
1746 Post St, San Francisco, CA 94115
Also inside the New People Mall, MARUQ carries Tokyo Street Fashion and some Gyaru Styles from Liz Lisa, ACDC RAG, and Mainly carries Liz Lisa, Aymmy in the Batty Girls as well as selected brands from Japan. Here is a great place to find small gifts for friends or yourself.

Sou Souhttps://www.sousouus.com
1746 Post St, San Francisco, CA 94115
It's not my taste but also located in the New People next to BABYSSB. I consider their style to be modern with Japanese influences. Lots of fun patterns and unique textiles. They are very popular for their socks and tabi shoes.

Cotton Sheephttps://cottonsheep.com
572 Hayes St, San Francisco, CA 94102
I came across this fun little shop a while back and although it's not exactly my style I think it's fun and unique enough to be noted and worth visiting. They import clothes from Japan and everything is extremely limited stock if not one of each in store. They are the "first store outside of Japan to carry notable brands such as Kapital, Kaoru, Goro Takahashi, Wingrock, Fith, etc." - website

Chococohttp://chococo.co.kr
455 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94118
This is away from Union Square and Downtown SF but here you can find Asian Fashion especially Korean Styles. They have cute and girly designs from knits to dresses but the price point is a little high for what is offered taking in consideration of the quality. I also want to note that they carry dupes and replicas of designer shoes and some clothes such as Valentino and Gucci.

Distractionshttps://www.distractionssf.com
1552 Haight St, San Francisco, CA 94117
I revisited this shop recently and the staff is just so friendly and outgoing. A lot of Vintage, Victorian, and Steampunk pieces to add to your wardrobe. Everything is so fun and some things could even work with Gothic Lolita outfits as well! Frills and lace up corsets, pipes and top hats can be found here.

Five & Diamondhttp://fiveanddiamond.com
510 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110
This was the first shop I randomly walked into and realized there were other unique clothing stores in San Francisco! I purchased my KMRII bag from here a few years ago. Amazing selection, lots of Gothic, Alternative, Festival, Burning Man styles. Jewelry from designers world wide.

CeibaSF https://www.ceibasf.com
1364 Haight St, San Francisco, CA 94117
Combination of Fashion, Art, and Music. They are Tribal Alternative Futuristic Fashion for those who enjoy Burning Man, Symbiosis, Lightning in a Bottle, Goa.

The Archivehttp://archivesf.com
317 Sutter St, San Francisco, CA 94108
Fashion isn't just for the ladies, there are spots great for Fashionable men as well. The Archive has great selection of designers from Europe and Japan. A lot of the stuff reminds me of Rick Owens. It's in downtown so stop by if you are shopping for a guy :)
Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Angelic Pretty Paris Webshop Review

Hi! As you all know I am a big fan of Angelic Pretty which is probably my favorite Lolita brands next to Jane Marple. Usually I make my purchases from Angelic Pretty USA in store or via Angelic Pretty Japanese Webshop if I can make the release times. I missed out on the Milkshake OP Set from the Japan Online Shop so I decided to buy it from AP Paris. Shipping took roughly 5 days after order confirmation. My only concern was that the exchange rate is not so great and I pay about $40-50 more than if I were to buy from AP USA. Otherwise shipping was reasonably fast and they even combined shipping (and refunded the extra) when I also bought the Lovely Check Skirt!!

Currently still in the process of moving and rearranging my closet/room so outfit pics coming soon.


Sunday, February 24, 2019

Weekly Wellness: Week 8 (Feb 17 - 23)


Hello again :)

Has it been already another week? Gosh, I felt it went by quickly. Beginning of the week was a bit rocky and uncertain if I was falling ill or not but I noticed I get this way when it rains for too long because the weather has a domino effect on me. When it's rainy I feel gloomy and have less motivation to get up and be productive however, this week the weather was great with lots of sunshine! With the sun, I feel more happy and easy going. Does anyone else feel this way?

I'm trying to spend more time with family/my parents as well as friends and I felt I'm doing good so far. Had dinner with the family and ended up going to the same restaurant 3x over the week with different people on different occasions-- family, friends, a lover. You get the picture. I think it's a sign of goodness. I met with some friends and made new friends this week so I am feeling really good :)

I want to say I've been *trying* to save money but it's hard when Angelic Pretty are pumping out these releases! I laugh, haha. But I also have been making attempts to purge and revamp my wardrobe by donating or selling some old clothes/clothes which I never touched in the past 2 years and I pocketed some extra cash this week. You can check my Depop here where I have a bit of older Gyaru items!

Until next time.
Friday, February 22, 2019

Angelic Pretty Spring/Summer 2019 : Flower Egg Garden

Following Valentine's Day, here is the next print series from Angelic Pretty just in time for Easter! Spring releases are either hit or miss with me because sometimes it can be too pastel for my taste or prints get too busy. This comes in 2 cuts OP and JSK with a matching headdress in 3 colors White, Pink, and Lavender. At first glance you can barely tell the colors apart in the pop photo. While this is a busier print, I think it's fun and it 'pops' for Easter. I'd ditch the headdress and opt to wear it with a bunny headband from one of AP's older releases (or future re-releases). My speculation is that it won't be a super fast sell out which I'd wait until they have a sale to decided if I want this or not.
Wednesday, February 20, 2019

3 Day Juice Cleanse Review : Project Juice

I had done a 'juice cleanse' before with Pressed Juicery and now I wanted to try another brand. There are so many different companies in San Francisco so it was hard to pick who I wanted to try next. I am I for supporting my city so I went with Project Juice which is based in San Francisco. They are a bit more expensive than Pressed Juicery (~$30/day vs $80/day), but I felt the selections of flavors were more appealing to me.

I usually don't do a full on juice cleanse. They recommend 6 juices and 2 wellness shots a day but I don't have that kind of willpower so I tend to do 4-5 juices a day and 1 or 2 shots because I like to still eat some sort of food. The juices to me are more to help me stop snacking which I eat healthier options. For example in addition to drinking the juices throughout the day, I will have a fruit or an egg, and smaller ratios of food so I don't feel completely starved.

For Project Juice, I customized my own packs and got a 3 day cleanse with 15 juices and 6 shots (5 juices/day + 2/shots). I really wanted to be able to try all the different flavors minus ginger since I am not a big fan of the taste so a customizable option really helps!


I still ate food throughout the 'cleanse' so I wouldn't feel too hungry and having the juices in between helped me with the over-snacking habit.

Day 1:
Sweet Greens | Potion 10 | Turmeric Lemonade | Strawberry Sunrise | Turmeric Mylk | Liver Flush + Turmeric Tonic
  • Meal 1: brown rice, greens, smoked salmon, and egg whites
  • Snacks: hard-boiled egg, chocolate, beef jerky
  • Meal 2: quail and soup

Day 2: 
Dr. Green | Green Lemon | Turmeric Lemonade | Recharge | D-Tox | Tummy Tonic + Immune Boost
  • Snacks: piece of chocolate, beef jerky
  • Meal: sushi dinner

Day 3:
Sweet Greens | Potion 10 | Strawberry Sunrise | Beta-Bomb | Get Up and Go Go | Liver Flush + Energy Elixir
  • Snacks: gummy bear and beef jerky
  • Meal: rice, leftovers, tomato & egg
::Greens::
Sweet Greens {Cucumber, Kale, Spinach, Romaine, Celery, Green Apple} 110 calories
This was surprisingly good for a juicer. It exceeded my tastebud expectations and I could drink this again. While it still tastes like the usual 'green' juice cleanse, it has a little bit of sweetness from the green apples. It's great and I love it!

Potion 10 {Pineapple, Pear, Cucumber, Kale, Spinach. Romaine, Parsley, Ginger, Turmeric, Lime} 160 calories
Not as sweet as Sweet Greens but it has a fun tangy citrus flavor from the pineapple and pear. A little hint of spice from the ginger. I don't even realize I'm doing a 'cleanse' because it tastes so good! Almost as if I'm sipping on lemonade. Yum.

Dr. Green {Cucumber, Celery, Kale, Spinach, Romaine, Lime} 70 calories
This bottle is pretty straightforward, nice, light, and refreshing. It's easy to drink which I was bit worried about since a lot of juicers or cleanses tend to taste too 'healthy' with a bitter aftertaste. This is not the case with Project Juice!

Green Lemon {Cucumber, Kale, Spinach, Romaine, Celery, Green Apple} 110 calories
I feel most of the Greens at this point tastes quite similar, but since I am not picky and have open minded tastebuds, everything tastes great and easy to drink. This has a bit of tarty sweetness from the apples and cucumber.

::Citrus::
Immunity {Orange, Grapefruit, Lemon, Ginger, Cayenne} 170 calories
So I'm not a huge fan of orange juice (though I do like eating oranges as a fruit), this tastes like orange-grapefruit juice with a strong kick of cayenne pepper. The cayenne is a little strong for me, so while it's not one of my favorites it still tastes pretty good!

Turmeric Lemonade {Lemon, Purified Water, Raw Agave, Turmeric, Ginger} 50 calories
Turmeric Lemonade tastes just like what it advertises as. Spicy lemonade with ginger notes. Nothing was too memorable but not bad.

::Blends::
Strawberry Sunrise {Coconut Water, Orange, Strawberry, Lime, Bacillus Coagulans GBI-30 6086, Inulin} 140 calories
I love this. Light and sweet flavors of orange and strawberry juice. I was a bit worried about it being too citrus-y/sour from the lime but this tastes amazing. I don't even feel like I'm doing a juice cleanse. This is probably one of my favorites and I would drink it even if I wasn't doing a cleanse.


::Wellness Boost::
Liver Flush {Grapefruit, Beet, Aloe, Milk Thistle, Burdock, Cayenne} 25 calories
These come in a 2oz shot concentrated with flavor. I was a little hesitate on this because I don't really like beet flavor and it is the color of vibrant beet magenta. This has a subtle beet smell but mostly smelled of a nice grapefruit orange citrus and with the first sip, I felt the kick of a spicy cayenne. Cayenne for me helps suppress my appetite for a while and makes me don't snack as much.

Turmeric Tonic {Turmeric, Pineapple, Aloe, Ginger, and Chamomile} 30 calories
Smells citrus-y perhaps from the pineapple. I can definitely taste a bit of the turmeric hints and a slight bit of ginger. I don't usually like ginger but this was not bad and has an interesting flavor.

Tummy Tonic {Apple, Aloe, Apple Cider Vinegar, Ginger, Bacillus coagulans GBI-30, 6086} 30 calories
Yemdoesnt smelll too great. giger vinger heavy. its very strong taste. bearable but not my favorite. At least its very potent as a shot.

Energy Elixir {Pineapple, Matcha, Ginger, vitamin-b12} 35 calories
This was surprisingly good because I hesitated when I saw ginger as a listed ingredient. But this has a little creamy taste of pineapple and hint of matcha. I love this!

Immune Boost {Orange, Lemon, Ginger, Cayenne, Echinacea, Reishi Mushroom} 50 calories
I didn't really enjoy this one, it was too spicy for my preferences and for me it was just like taking a shot of hot sauce. My least favorite of the Wellness Shots.

::Overall::
I would totally order again from Project Juice because every bottle just tasted so amazing and delicious! I usually dread hearing/doing 'juice cleanse' but this brand made it fun and tasty. It's a little more expensive than Pressed Juicery which I tried in the past and I now am a fan of Project Juice! Love It.
Saturday, February 16, 2019

Weekly Wellness: Week 7 (Feb 10 - 16)


One of the things I wanted to get back into doing this year was blogging. I'm not a good writer or a blogger but I really enjoy having an outlet for my thoughts. It's almost like therapy and a way to destress. The Weekly Wellness section will be a once a week check-in on myself-- basically talking to myself and seeing how I'm doing. Do you ever find yourself talking to yourself? Well this post is pretty much me but on a blog.

Mood:
When it rains or when the sky is a bit grey it kind of makes me want to stay inside, unmotivated to do anything else besides to curl up in bed. I'm trying to not let the weather affect my productivity but it can be hard sometimes when it's just pouring outside! How do you deal with it? I try to take a bath or hot shower, light some scented candles, make hot tea or soup, read a book or watch a show. I know we need the rain but I also can't wait till Spring since it's not only my favorite season of the year but weather really brightens up which puts me in a better mood.

Friendship:
I miss seeing some friends so I've been trying to reach out and make an effort to get back in touch with some who I miss, as well as going out and meeting new people. I made some new friends the past year and kept in touch with some old friends but I really want to try harder in maintaining a healthy relationship with people around me.

Health:
I've started to eat better but it is of course still a work in progress. I don't really have an excuse of not going to the gym or exercising though I do want to blame the weather haha. No more meals after 8pm, no more mindless snacking, or eating out if there is food at home. Health doesn't have to be just physical but mental health is also important. I been getting better at being more positive and finding ways to cope when things do not turn out how I want or when I do not feel I am where I want to be. Being in a good mood means more motivation to dress up in cute clothes!

Finances:
Since I am not eating out as much I've been saving some money. If I do eat out, I try not to overeat and save leftovers for another day. I take public transportation as much as I can as long as there are no time constraints since I started using Uber more I've been using it for close and short distances. Lastly, every other week I've been trying to clear out things in my room and closet of stuff I no longer need. I put things up for sale on eBay, Facebook, Depop, and a few other mobile apps for re-selling your old knickknacks!
Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Strip Lashes or Lash Extensions?


It's been about a year since I decided to go with lash extensions after many years of using strip lashes. I just took out my eyelash extensions because I wanted to see how I'd feel about falsies again. I have uneven eyelids (both are different creases) so when I do eye make up I take these into consideration.

Strip Lashes Pros
- they are easy to take off and wash your face
- usually cheaper than getting lash extensions
- there are different styles to choose from so you can have a different look for whatever occasion
- available almost at any drugstore
- great if you like to experiment with different looks and eyeshadows

Strip Lashes Cons
- takes practice to stick them on properly and evenly
- may come off after a long night of partying so don't forget to bring glue with you!
- some nice styles may end up feeling too heavy on my eyes since they have a heavy band
- not as long as lash extensions (that can go up to 18 or 19mm!)
- I don't feel the curve of most the strip lash selections are curled enough for Asian eyes

Lash Extensions Pros
- you can 'I woke up like this'
- save time on makeup, literally cuts my time by 15-20 minutes
- different lengths and curls to choose from
- usually looks even on both eyes which is great for hooded eyes and covering up uneven lids
- easy maintenance with brushing and eyelash cleanser
- makes your eyes pop and look more open
- does not damage your natural lashes if done properly by a trained professional
- look amazing at the pool and great option for vacation
- I don't usually use eyeshadow or liner with extensions

Lash Extensions Cons
- can be an expensive upkeep depending on style you get (I do mega volume so touch up is 10-14 days for best results)
- harder to wash face, you have to clean around the area
- hurts like a B if one ends up in your eye
- car ride with the windows down? don't think so-- these will be fluttering in your vision
- touch ups and initial appointments may take a fair bit of time
- can be painful if you accidentally tug and pull one out
- needs to be brushed so the individual lashes don't start to stack on top of each other and making your eyes look less open
- taking the lashes off is also a long process and may sting your eye

Verdict
I like both of them depending on what my purpose is but after finding a lash technician that I really like and gave me what I wanted, I can say that I am addicted to lash extensions despite the cons!
Friday, February 8, 2019

Angelic Pretty Spring/Summer 2019 : Be My Valentine

Second print release from Angelic Pretty just in time for Valentine's Day! I find this super adorable featuring kittens, bunnies, and birdies so not much more cuter can this get. I'd love for this to be released in a skirt version but it's rare that AP makes skirts and salopettes as frequently anymore. Be My Valentine comes in 2 cuts the OP and JSK with back fully shirred to accommodate bigger sizes. And also available is a matching headband in 3 colors Red, Pink, and Black. I'm torn between the Red or Pink both which are adorable for a V-Day Coordinate. Definitely gonna be a SOLD-OUT series!
Thursday, February 7, 2019

Chocolates and Confectionaries Gift Ideas

Giving chocolates doesn't have to be just for Valentine's Day. Chocolates or sweets, I like them all and I may indulge myself a bit more often than I should but life is too short to be worrying about small things. I have made a list of places I enjoy going to however just a disclaimer I am allergic to peanuts and don't particularly like chocolates or sweets with nuts. Whether you are a local or just visiting, San Francisco has a variety of local artisanal chocolatiers and confectionary shops worth checking out. Grab some coffee or tea since it's going to be a long list!

::JAPANESE CONFECTIONS::

Minamoto Kitchoanhttps://www.kitchoan.com
648 Market Street, San Francisco 94104
Super convenient, located right by the Montgomery Bart Station and walking distance from Union Square and the Ferry Building, this is the perfect place to find seasonal 和菓子 (wagashi - Japanese Style confections). They carry a variety of sweets such as mochi, fruit jellies, ring cakes, cookies and biscuits, dry snacks, and more. I don't have anything in particular I get because every time I stop by I make it a point to try something new and different. They also have assortment boxes which make great gifts during holidays, birthdays, or souvenirs to bring back home.

1737 Post St, San Francisco, CA 94115
This is also another place to buy Japanese Wagashi located in the Japantown Shopping Center. While they also have a variety of mochis and jellies, the selections are different that what Minamoto carries so this is definitely another place worth checking out if you like Japanese snacks! Nippon-Ya also offers loose leaf teas, soba noodles, chocolates, candies, and cookies. My favorite has always been the "Pure Strawberry" which are freeze dried strawberries covered in white chocolate and the Odaiba Strawberry langue de chat cookies.

::SAN FRANCISCO BASED ARTISANAL CHOCOLATIERS:

Jade Chocolates | https://www.jadechocolates.com
4207 Geary Blvd, San Francisco 94118 or One Market Plaza 94105
Native San Franciscan Chinese/Filipino Mindy Fong is the owner of Jace Chocolates. A lot of fun Asian inspired flavors. I don't particularly like nuts in my chocolate so there are a bit of options for me to choose from. Some of my favorites are Miso Caramel, Creamsicle, and Sunflower.

Socola Chocolatier https://www.socolachocolates.com
535 Folsom St, San Francisco, CA 94105
.

Sixth Coursehttp://sixthcourse.com
1544 15th St San Francisco, CA 94103
.

 Recchiuti Confections https://www.recchiuti.com
inside the Ferry Building
My favorite is the Honeycomb :)

Cadence Chocolates http://www.cadencechocolates.com
N/A online shop only or bike delivery service
.

Feve Artisan Chocolatehttps://fevechocolates.com
 2222 Palou Ave, San Francisco, CA 94124
.

tinyB chocolate | https://www.tinybchocolate.com
190 Evelyn Way, San Francisco, CA 94127
.

XOX Truffles | http://www.xoxtruffles.com
754 Columbus Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133
.

Charles Chocolates | https://www.charleschocolates.com
535 Florida St, San Francisco, CA 94110
.

poco dolce | https://www.pocodolce.com
2421 3rd St, San Francisco, CA 94107
.

::OTHER NOTE-WORTHY IN SAN FRANCISCO::

Ginger Elizabeth Chocolates | https://gingerelizabeth.com
3108 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA 94123

Littlejohn's Candies | http://littlejohnscandies.com
1422 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94102
.

Christopher Elbows | https://www.elbowchocolates.com
 401 Hayes St, San Francisco 94102