Monday, September 26, 2011

Mulan's Bootcamp ~ An Update!

It has been quite a while since I first posted all the links and tools for leading a healthier lifestyle! The post is here for those of you who may have joined me here on my blog later ;)

My original goals were:
*Bring my weight from 64kg to about 55-57kg (final goal will depend on how I feel)
*Flatten my abdomen (visceral fat is the most unhealthy)
*Be able to do a push-up. Very sad, but I am completely unable to do even 1

I moved out of my grandparents' house in March and quickly gained another 4kg because of unhealthy eating habits. I am living with my mom now, and am back to eating more whole foods!

At the beginning of July the Loli_Weightloss community on LiveJournal started a weightloss challenge (which has since died, unfortunately) which really kick started me on my own journey. I started at 65.2kg. It has been 12 weeks, and I am at around 60.3-60.5kg now! Though it may not seem like much weight to lose over the course of 2 and a half months, it has been fairly consistent and hasn't bounced back up much.

If you are interested, I will share my methods and some other stuff under the cut~

First of all, I have stopped using MyFitnessPal. While it was great at first, I fell into the same trap as my sophomore year in high school when I was counting calories. I over-restricted my intake, obsessed over every calorie, and effectively, became "mildly anorexic." Towards the end, I was trying to stay around 300 calories a day, which is VERY unhealthy. I am never going to count calories again. Though it is a GREAT method for MANY people and is quite effective, for me personally, it is just a terrible cycle of beating myself up and harming my body. That is all I have to say about it ;D

Secondly, my workout of choice is now primarily Blogilates! I follow her website on Tumblr, all three YouTube channels, and her FaceBook. The reasons I have stuck to POP Pilates are simple:
*No Equipment Required I am not about to spend any money on anything more than a yoga mat! There is only one or two videos that require an exercise ball, but everything else can be done with just YOU! With such limited space in Taiwan housing, this is GREAT
*Varying Video Lengths Got 10 minutes or less? There's a video for that. Got half an hour? There's a video for that. Got more time? Combine videos and target different muscle groups! I sound like an advertisement, don't I? ^^;
*Core Strength OK this one is just personal preference, but I have a very weak core so Pilates is very effective for that! While I may not be able to do all (or most) of the moves, I push myself to try the modifications for beginners and only take a quick 5 second break if I really cannot keep up!
*Yay Cassey! I just like Cassey Ho :P She's upbeat, energetic, tells distracting stories during the workouts to take your mind off the PAIN, and plays fun music!
*Food Bites Blogilates also has some healthy, wholesome recipes! Cassey recently went vegetarian, so there will be more and more vegetarian recipes to follow, too ^u^v

Foodwise, I have been aiming to eat whole, natural foods, and to eat in a certain "order" to control portion sizes. I have a VERY difficult time figuring out how much food I eat, as I am sure many people do, so I aim to fill up on nutritious foods without too many calories first.

1) Veggies - steamed vegetables are best! Fill up on these first so you are not ravenously trying to eat whatever you can!
2) Clear Soup - this does NOT mean cream-based chowders!! A clear soup will also help to fill you up without too many calories. Usually the soup at our house has some vegetables and maybe some protein in it. Seaweed brings lots of flavor!
3) Lean Protein - I normally eat (wild-caught) fish or (handmade) tofu. Sometimes we have a veggie/protein mix dish, so it can come before or after the clear soup :)
4) Carbs - aim for whole wheat, brown rice, and other whole grains. Eating carbs after everything else enables you to control the portion better because you are already mostly full.
5) Fruit - this is dessert! The sugar in the fruit can help to curb sweets cravings!

Most importantly, drink plenty of water! I start my day off with a cup of warm water to wake up the system, and then a cup of warm lime and honey water for cleansing. Throughout the day, if my mouth feels like craving something, I try to drink some warm water or hot tea first. When I am at school, I bring a tumbler and a teabag so I can make my own tea instead of being tempted by the many (many, many, many) beverage shops around the school. Taiwan is very beverage-shop heavy ^^; And the low prices (500cc of bubble milk tea for about US$1) are quite tempting!! Bringing my own drinks helps save my wallet and waistline ;D

In the past 12 weeks, I have lost weight and gotten just a tiny bit stronger! I am able to do more of the Pilates moves in the workout videos now, so that of course makes me feel good ;) My current short-term goal is to get under 60kg by the end of September. I really feel like I can do it!

Sorry for such a text-intensive post! With all the pointless fatty-chan hate/drama on LiveJournal recently, I just felt more inspired to make a post about being healthy for your own body type. I know I will never be the 40-50kg most of the other girls here are simply because that would be unhealthy for me. But I would like to be the best me that I can be!

Here's a photo of some tomato + basil + tofu noodles (yay low carb!) I made:
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Thoughts? Questions? Let me know in the comments below!
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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Rapunzel's LookBook

Recently I received a comment about the fact that I don't style my hair or wear makeup enough. While that may be somewhat true, a part of the reason is because I simply don't take photos of my experimental hair styles :P

So I am going to start a collection series of what I do with my hair. Even if it ends up not looking good XD Maybe it will end up inspiring some of you to try something that DOES look good! When I am bored I like to scour the Internet looking for new things to do with my hair. It is difficult to style my hair for a variety of reasons:
1) I don't use heat stylers. At all. No curling irons, straighteners, crimpers, etc. When you see my hair curled, it's because I used sponge curlers and slept in them overnight ;D
2) I don't use hair styling products. I could count the number of times I've used hairspray on one hand! My current idea of "using product in my hair" is using leave-in conditioner to make my hair soft and smooth :D
3) I prefer not to backcomb. Backcombing hair is quite damaging. It does give a lovely amount of volume, but I only backcomb my hair for special occassions and meetups. In this series, I plan on doing DAILY looks, so probably no backcombing in sight!

As you can see, that eliminates the vast majority of Lolita hair tutorials D: What can I say? I am too picky! Perhaps I am too stuck on the idea of "natural" beauty, but that is simply my style :P Braids will most likely be featured prominently in the future~

I hope this series can become useful in the future! And hopefully help me track some progress and ideas :D

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Follow me!

Click on photos to make them bigger!

Photobucket Double French Braid Pigtails. Very simple if you know how to French braid. I am terrible at it, but practicing! Dress it up with cute hair ties ♥ I am using Strawberry hair ties here because I was wearing a strawberry skirt.
Point! A good variation on this style is to loop the pigtails back up if your hair is long enough!

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This is a similar style, but on the side. French braid one side to the ear, then braid the other side in a wraparound style to meet with the first braid and braid them together. It takes a bit of practice to learn how to wrap the braid around your head. A mirror will be very helpful!!

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Photobucket This one is super simple. Make a low side ponytail, create a hole above the ponytail holder, and flip the ponytail through. Decorate with hair corsages or ribbons of your choice. The flower clips pictured here are from Surface Spell on taobao.com! I got 10 of them and they are so handy!

So these first three are quite simple, but in the future I want to post more of my hair "experiments" here ^0^v
If there are any questions, suggestions, tutorial requests, etc. please let me know in the comments!
Most of the natural long hair styles I have seen are historic reenactment styles which would work nicely for Classical Lolita, but I am hoping to find more cute or sweet styles, so if you have any pictures, links, ideas, please send them my way!
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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Taste of Darkness

Ever since I had to get rid of my photo-editing programs (they were causing my netbook to slow down tremendously and spontaneously freeze), I have been much more reluctant to take photos and/or post them :( And I apologize for that!

Today I want to share a bit of an off-beat post. Last night I was visited by the Insomniasaur. Instead of sleeping, I tossed and turned and finally decided to just get up and do something crazy!

I am a Daily Lolita. I wear Lolita whenever I don't have work. Out of Lolita, my style is still sweet, girly, and covered with lace and ribbons! Sometimes, it is fun to try out a new style, though. Just to see how it would look, I put together a Gothic/Visual Kei style outfit. Hence, A Taste of Darkness.

Oh, and because the photos are a bit too dark ^^; SEE HOW CLEVER I AM IN MY SUBJECT? :o

A little preview:
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It all started with the hair. I just wanted to mess around with my hair. It has never been dyed, only every touched heat-stylers 3 times (once for modeling, twice at a salon), and is very rarely backcombed. The length and style has pretty much stayed the same my entire life. I used to be a dancer in Chinese dance, and we needed our hair to be long and preferably one-length (no layers!) in order to be able to put all the huge hair pieces in!

But after styling my hair, I just got carried away with makeup. After makeup, it seemed to make sense to just go the whole way and put together an outfit!

I hope you enjoy this bit of randomness! ^u^v

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Look at my rage-y face!

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Two seated shots. I was actually adjusting the straps on my bodice in the second photo, but I think the "pose" looks all right :D

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And a full-body shot! There are pearls sewn all over the tulle skirt, but it is quite difficult to see here.

Well, that was my little foray into Darkness fashion and style!

What style would you like to try? Do you like to stick to one style all the time, or do you change it up frequently? I know that there are a lot of Lolita/Gyaru mixes, and some Gothic Lolita/Western Goth mixes. How about your styles?? I am curious to know!!

Secretly I sort of want to shave my head into a mohawk and style it into a deathhawk, dye it with streaks of neon pink, get facial piercings, and sleeve tattoos (in UV ink!) but because I work as a teacher, I cannot do any of that.... :(
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Monday, September 12, 2011

Large Meetup Tips (And a Meetup Report)

Yesterday there was a yukata-themed meetup! It was for both yukata and Lolita, so I went with the happy medium and wore Wa-Lolita :P

It was a larger than usual crowd and consisted of both new and not-new Lolitas. Since even the organizer didn't know everybody, she developed a really handy system to make sure everybody who came was actually invited, everybody paid, and everybody got to know each other a little bit. I thought it was pretty rad so I am going to share!

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This was my outfit :)
Open Invitation
The meetup was organized on Plurk, open to all. The theme was clearly stated (yukata and Lolita) and an updated guest-list was kept.

Reservation/Deposit
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After a final headcount, the hotel restaurant was called and our space reserved for 30. Each attendee then had to pay a NT$100 deposit. Those who missed the deadline got their names put on a list which was reposted every day as a reminder. Not only is it embarrassing to have your name on the "Did Not Pay" list, it actually was helpful because one Lolita hadn't been online in a few days and one of the other Lolitas saw her name on the list and texted her to let her know there was a mandatory deposit. If anybody hadn't paid by the day before the meet, their spot would be canceled. Luckily, that didn't happen to anybody!

Reminder
2 days before the meet, the organizer sent out a notice to all attendees that there would be a checklist and name tags for everybody to avoid any uninviteds mixing their way in or any no-shows since we would have to cover the cost of their absence if anybody didn't show.

Checking In
As each guest arrived, she checked in on a list of guests and received a name tag with her name on it to make it easier to meet and remember new people. Due to the large number of people, we were split into 3 tables but throughout the meet migrated between tables to chat. A few girls arrived late but called ahead to let the organizer know that they were still coming!

Eating and Introductions
As food was served, we all got to know our tablemates better. Some people were familiar with each other already, and some were at their very first meetup, so it was fun to get to know everybody!
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Our food was a 3-tier Japanese thing!

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It was really fancy and surprisingly filling! I had to take a break after the second tier and chat before moving on to the third tier

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Yes, the entire third tier is dessert!

After most people were finished eating, we started self-introductions. The organizer went first, of course and then we just went around in circles around each table. For those who were shyer they went up in pairs to introduce themselves. Many photos were taken and everybody was warmly welcomed~

Paying
After several hours of chatting and photography, it was time to pay! Each table had a "cash collector" who collected the money from everybody. Those who did not have exact change would get their change from the "collector." After each person paid, they could hand their name tag back in. This way, there wouldn't be a mystery amount of leftover unpaid bill which, unfortunately, has happened at a meetup I attended back in Minnesota. After all name tags were checked in, we paid the restaurant and went outside for MORE PHOTOGRAPHY!

I hope these ideas are somewhat helpful to those of you thinking of organizing your own meetups either with large groups, people you haven't met before, or both!

To finish off this post, have a group photo!!

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I'm all hidden in the back ;)
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Monday, September 5, 2011

Ribbon and Lace Wonderland Finish!

Woohoo I finally finished and mailed out my Ribbon and Lace Wonderland clothing line!! It was ridiculously expensive to mail (over US$40) but I really hope it is going to turn out well!! See my previously finished pieces in this post. I am currently setting up a website on weebly.com but will probably be selling on Etsy at first. There is nothing on my shop yet, but I will be updating it as I get further along! Now, without further ado, a sneak peek at my Fall/Winter 2011 collection!
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A knitwear jacket with a faux-tailored look and beautiful buttons. It is a sweatshirt-like material for warmth and comfort, but fits like a tailored jacket. Wonderful for chilly autumn days!
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Shorts Salopette
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Layers of ruffles on the chest and a hand-covered button!
This outfit is my first foray into a more boyish-yet-girly look, if that makes any sense!
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Ruffle Skirt Salopette! The ruffles are all pattern-matched so the same pattern appears all the way around. It was quite time-consuming to do so, but it looks so much better than mismatched ruffles would have!

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More hand-covered button~
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One Piece!
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I love these ribbons on the chest

Sorry for any bad lighting, but since I no longer have any photo-editing programs I cannot change the photos from when they were taken. These are also all sample items and may differ from the final product I will be selling.

For example, I know for sure I am going to add one more layer of ruffle to the One Piece!

I hope you enjoyed the photos and stay tuned for updates! Any comments, questions, etc. are welcome!
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