Sunday, January 30, 2011

Dieting, but My Way

It’s January, aka the Dietmonth! Commercials and advertisments try to reach us with their light products, gyms advertise with low prices to sign up and the scales are for sale everywhere. Yes, January is the month in which we’re willing to try to reach the goals we set for ourselves when the new year started.
Three months ago, an anonymous reader asked me on my Formspring to share tips on dieting (sorry it took so long!). I decided to write a big post instead of a short answer, so I could explain myself better and, even more important, longer! Before I start, I want to write a little disclaimer to tell you my intentions and goal.

With this post, I am not trying to stimulate extreme weightloss. I just want to share my healthy way of dieting with other people. In this way, I hope I can prevent them from taking the wrong way. I’ve seen people taking that road and I am certainly not trying to stimulate it. My way of dieting is my own, based on what I want and what I'm capable of. You may or may not agree with the way I diet, you may even think it’s stupid. But this is my way and this is how I do it.

There, I’ve said it. ^^ Let’s get on. I’ll first give you tips on weightloss in general, then I will tell you something about my diet itself.

Keep up your weight every week. When you’ve officially started, weigh yourself without clothes on. You have to do this in the morning, after you’ve been to the toilet and before you’ve eaten breakfast. That’s the moment when you’re ‘empty’ and on your official weight, so to say. If you’re afraid to weigh yourself, first tell yourself that whatever the scale tells you, you’re going to change it! I know some people are frightened to see an actual number, but remember: it won’t stay at that digit. ^^ When you’ve done this, write down the date and your weight in a special little book. Continue to do this every week, on the same day, in the same routine. This way, you can keep track of your improvement! If anything special happened, like a five day wedding (or something less extreme of course), write that down too.

Numbers on the scale. Having a scale with a round numberplate is easier than using a scale with digital numbers when it comes to weight alone. Well, this isn’t really a requirement, but I myself prefer this, because you can see with your own eyes what number the needle stops on. A digital scale only shows you a number, you can’t really change its data.

There are no magical spells that make you skinny. Ok, maybe you aren’t looking for a magical spell. But there aren’t any tricks that quickly make you skinny either. Believe me, I’ve read tons of diet sites and they all tell the same. When advertisers claim to have a great product that will make you lose weight quickly, it often contains laxatives.

Set a goal for yourself. Dieting is hard. Giving up on the food you love is a very difficult thing to do, especially when you’re surrounded by people who can eat those things you love so much. Setting a goal for yourself can help you to stay away from the things you aren’t allowed to eat. Whenever you have cravings for that chocolatebar, you picture your goal in front of you. This might help you (but it doesn’t always have to work). Of course, there are differences in how strong a goal is. ‘I want to be skinny!’ can work for some people, but it generally isn’t a really good goal. ‘I want to wear Angelic Pretty’s *insert name here* JSK!’ can be better for us Lolitas, because it’s easier to picture the dress hanging in your closet. You may even be able to picture yourself in the dress!

Drink water. Oh no! The cliché water-tip! If you’ve read tips about diets, there’s a 99.9% chance you’ve seen the water-tip floating by. Drinking 2 litres of water a day is a very good thing to do, even when you’re not on a diet. But 2 litres is quite a lot, especially if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t always appreciate water (like me, ahem). First, set yourself the goal to drink 1 litre per day. That’s about four big glasses or two bottles (do check the content of the bottle, not all bottles are 0.5 litre)! When that’s easy, switch to 1.5 litres a day. I myself make sure I drink at least one bottle at school, one in the afternoon and one after dinner.
But why is water so important for dieting? Many people asked me why I drink so much water. And many of them answered their own question with: ‘Water fills, right? It makes you less hungry!’ Well, I don’t completely agree with this. Water doesn’t replace food, but I do agree that it makes me a bit less hungry. A bit. But more importantly: drinking water stimulates your body to burn calories! Water does that! How awesome is that?

Find replacementsnacks. So you’re not allowed to eat your favorite snack every day anymore. End of the world? No. Find other snacks! You don’t immediately have to switch to cucumberslices and selerysticks, but fruit and vegetables can be delicious! Go out and discover your favourite, healthy snacks! Strawberries, raspberries, bananas or carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers can be delicious, especially used in salads!

Tell your loved ones about it. The word ‘diet’ can be misinterpreted by people. Many people immediately cringe or give their opinion when hearing this word, because of the bad side that is often in the media. Tell your loved ones about your plans, that you have researched and how you want to reach your goal. In this way, your loved ones are aware of what you’re doing. Maybe they can even help and support you! If you don’t tell them, they’ll probably notice you’ve changed your eating habits and they might think you’re doing it secretly.

Ask for help. Dieting on your own is very difficult, especially when you’re living together with your family or boy-/girlfriend. Beside telling them about your diet, ask for their help too! Maybe the person who cooks can try to make healthier food. Or maybe they can support you by saying you shouldn’t eat that pack of cookies. Maybe you even inspire someone to start living a healthier lifestyle too! But you also have to realize that you’re the one on a diet, not them. Especially living together with a family is difficult, because the other ones can still eat what they want, where they want (like, in front of you).

Ladies only. A couple of days before and during that certain time of the month, you’re heavier. Take this into account when you weigh yourself: next week it’s gone again!

The little things that count. When you don’t have time to go to the gym, like me (sigh), try to add little things to your life that involve movement. Cycle to school instead of taking the bus (taking in account you don’t live an hour away of course). Or go out for a walk in the park. And there are the little things, like walking the stairs twice instead of once, or taking detours to your destination.

Holidays. What do Christmas and Thanksgiving have in common? Food! Apart from being thankful for what you have, these holidays are all about food. And great food, if I may say (although I’ve never experienced Thanksgiving). Unless you’re really strong, I suggest you forget about your diet during these days. Skip the weighing for that week and continue the next week, it’s not the end of the world.

Well, these are all the tips I can give on dieting. My own diet is based on these rules: I weigh myself every week, I have a scale with a numberplate, I drink water, I have replacementsnacks and my family and friends know about my diet and support me. However, there’s one thing that makes my diet a bit… curious: I have a snackday. Every Saturday I can eat whatever I want. Chocolate, pizza and chips aren’t forbidden once a week. Call me crazy, but it works for me. Of course this slows the weightloss process, I am aware of that. But I’m just a normal girl, surrounded by schoolmates that eat whatever they want and a family that doesn’t join in my diet. By having a snackday, it’s easier for me to hold back during the week. Now you might think that on Saturdays I eat everything I lost back, but that’s absolutely not the case. This way of dieting has worked for me since I’ve started and I’m happy. That’s what counts for me.

I hope the anonymous reader that’s asked me for these tips is satisfied. ^^ I’ve been meaning to write this post for a long time, but I always postponed it, because I wasn’t sure if I should do it. Weight is a touchy subject for me and I don’t really like talking about it, but I really hope that I helped or supported people with this post. I can only say: good luck! ♥

Friday, January 28, 2011

Blogging for The Non-English

Lolita blogging has recently become more popular rapidly. Loliblogs pop up all over the internet, talking about (non-)brand, coords, experiences and outfits. I think this is a very good thing (Lolitas of the world, unite!) and I really hope there will be even more! ^^
Starting a blog isn’t an easy thing. What will you write about, how often will you write and how do you want to do it? I know some blogs have great tips on (Lolita)blogging, so I won’t write an article about that. As a Lolitablogger who doesn’t write in her mother tongue, I would like to focus on the subject of language.

Before you start a blog, you need to take a lot of things in account. One of them being the language you want to write in. There are three different, simple forms you can pick:

MBML. My Blog, My Language. MBML-Lolis write in their own language, so they can express themselves freely, without the limitations of a language that is not their own. Expressing yourself in another language is very difficult, because of all the differences in grammar and expressions. The downside is that not everyone will understand what you write.

50/50. 50/50-Lolis prefer to write in their own language, but still want to reach those that can’t understand a single word of it. They translate or summarize their articles for their ‘foreign’ readers. In this way they can still express themselves the way they mean to, but are still able to reach other Lolitas.

ETRA. English To Reach All. ETRA-Lolis prefer to write in English and in English alone, being it because it’s their mother tongue or because they want to reach everyone. English is still the biggest language in the world, so most people will understand what you say or at least a big part of it.

When you start a blog, you simply ask yourself the questions:
Who do I want to reach? Only the Lolitas in my country, so there won’t be any language barriers? Or everyone who understands English, with the risk of not being able to express myself exactly the way I want? Or do I want to do both?

When I started my blog, I could easily skip these questions. There was not a single moment of doubt about the language: I love to speak, read and write English and I highly dislike my own language. I also like to speak English with my friends sometimes, simply because I like it. One of them once said: ‘You always somehow make me speak English. I don’t understand how you do it!’
I often express myself with English words, often because my own language lacks the expressions I need. Of course, whenever I write a blogentry, I also open a page with a dictionary, because I often need to look up words or check if the expression I want to use even exists. I’m sure my entries won’t be spotless English, but hey. As long as people understand me and are not offended while I don’t mean to, I’m happy. ^^

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

QutieLand Review: Shoes, Shoes, and a Petticoat

Last Friday I finally received my package from QutieLand! About three months ago I ordered my first two pairs of Lolita shoes and my first petticoat! I was really looking forward to receiving them and Friday was finally the day. The only unpleasant surprise was the extra fee I had to pay, but the contents of the package totally made up for it. ^^
I always love to to read reviews and now I’ll finally be able to write my own, so prepare!
Since I ordered three items, I’ll tell you about the ordering-shipping-deliveringproces first.

Ordering:The ordering was very easy. All I had to do was choose a size and color and add the items to my cart. I also had to give them my sizes, but not all of them were relevant in this case (like bustsize). I checked my cart about a hundred times (I wanted to be ab-so-lu-te-ly sure everything was right), but it was really easy. The site is in English, so no trouble with translating.

Shipping: As soon as I placed my order I got an email with estimated time before delivering and a couple of days later one with my tracking number. I could follow my order from being made to being shipped to the seller. After a couple of weeks, my shoes were still in the ‘being made’ stage, so I emailed QutieLand about it. I quickly got an email back, telling me the items were already shipped out and they apolgized. A day later I got my second tracking number. From there, my package arrived within no time!

Communication: I got quick and polite responses to my emails. I always got satisfying answers (I’ve emailed them before my order too).

Well, onto the items! ^^ First my pair of black An*tai*na AP Style Traditional Tea Party Low Heel Shoes.

Quality: They are sturdy I think and very pretty. ^^

Product as described: They are a tiny bit higher than I expected, but that was my own mistake: I measured 4,5 cm wrong (stupid me). Although they look shiny on my picture, they aren’t in real life, it’s just the flash. They are mat, like described.

Opinion: I looooove them! I’ll admit I was terrified they wouldn’t fit me somehow, but they do and they feel so comfortable! I love the detachable straps and the heart buckles so much! I am very happy with them!

Secondly, my pair of pink An*tai*na AP Style Traditional Tea Party Shoes.

Quality: Sturdy and very pretty. ^^

Product as described: They are exactly like on the picture and even better! The color is gorgeous and a very Angelic Pretty-like pink.

Opinion:These shoes are love! They fit me superwell and are so comfortable! The color is gorgeous and exactly like I hoped. I am superhappy I bought them! ^^

And finally, my white Classical Puppets petticoat.

Quality: Soft, fluffy, and poofy! ^^

Product as described: The petticoat is as I expected. It has three lines of soft fabric and an elastic waistband that fits comfortably. There’s a cotton ‘underskirt’ underneath the fabric.

Opinion: O my God, my very first petticoat! When I put it on, my first reaction was: ‘It’s so poofy! Is that normal..?’ (A poofy petticoat being poofy, ahem).
It’s very soft and feels very comfortable. After a bit of doubting, I decided to try it underneath my Baby, the Stars Shine Bright Sugar Rose Cake skirt and this is the result:

Poof! I love it! I walked around for about half an hour in joy until I realised I should probably take it off again. XD I apologize for the… lacking of a coordinate. I still don’t have everything to create a full outfit. But that day will come!

Overall experience: I’ll definitely buy from QutieLand again! They are always friendly and quick with responses and their products definitely were what I expected, and even more! ^^

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Movie Review: Le Roi Danse

Ever since I started my blog I wanted to expand in the subjects of my articles. I have a deep love for multiple things, including movies. I love to read, talk, imagine, think and above all write about movies that I like. So when I started my blog, I really wanted to write movie reviews too, but because I wanted to stick as much as possible to Lolita, I never really got the chance to it. But I really want to write reviews after all, including Lolita-related ones, so I’ll just give it a go after all. ^^

Have you ever had a situation where you watched a movie you didn’t really have expectations of and you instantly fell in love? Well, I’ve had it. In fact, it happened to me a couple of weeks ago.
I never had high hopes the artclasses at my school would ever get interesting. The book we use describes every painting, musical form, statue and fountain as if it is a miracle from the gods and we should all worship it. Really, don’t think I don’t have a love for art and I can imagine some pieces are in fact miracles, but the way the book decribes it can make you vomit with its adoring descriptions. So when we finally started on the subject of the ‘culture of the court’, I prayed the book wouldn’t destroy my interest in this.
Well, miraculously it didn’t. In fact, it made me even more interested in this period in history and especially in Louis XIV! To make the lessons a tiny bit more interesting, we sometimes watch a part of a movie and if we’re really lucky, the whole movie. Well, we were very lucky this time, because we watched the movie completely. And I fell in love with ‘Le roi danse’.

Le roi danse
‘Le roi danse’ (‘The king dances’, or as the English dvdversion says ‘The king is dancing’) revolves around two protagonists: king Louis XIV and musical genius and composer Jean-Baptiste Lully. Through the eyes of Lully, we see Louis’ rise to power.
Louis becomes king at the age of five, but his mother and cardinal Mazarin don’t let him rule the country. Louis is only king on stage, literally, for he has a passion for dancing and performing. At the age of 14 he dances the character of the sun in Lully’s composed ballet ‘Ballet de la nuit’ (‘Ballet of the night’). Louis’ got his famous nickname ‘le roi soleil’, ‘the sun king’, from performing this role. After gaining more self-confidence, he takes all power after the death of cardinal Mazarin at the age of 22. He continues to dance for ten years and he portrays characters like the god Apollo and the planet Jupiter, roles that have a centre function. When the king won’t dance anymore, Lully starts to write comical ballets with the famous playwriter Molière. But slowly Lully loses the favor of the king, who he devoted his life to…

The summary I wrote is a very general look at the movie, since I don’t want to spoil too much. ^^
As I said, I fell in love with this movie. I loved it for various reasons.
First of all, because the movie revolves mainly around the cultural side of Louis’ life, there is a lot of dancing and classical music. The whole movie is filled with music composed by the real Lully. The most wonderful thing is that the characters can actually hear the music too, because the music is mainly played at concerts and performances played in the movie itself. Also, the dancing is completely in the style of the court culture: horizontal movement and figure dancing, since the audience looked down on the dancers mostly. I especially adored the dance in which Louis portrays de planet Jupiter. The music is so beautiful and the dance looks strong and powerful.
Secondly, the costumes are all fantastic. The most wonderful outfits are shown troughout the movie.
I also really loved the fact that I understood and recognised quite some historical events that happened, since my interest in Louis XIV grew and I learned more about his life. The fact that the movie is in French (my favourite language ever) also contributed to my love.
Lastly, and probably most important, was the casting of the protagonists. The actors that played Louis (Benoît Magimel) and Lully (Boris Terral) were simply perfect! Both men had something strong and personal in their face that I cannot really explain. Louis had both a feminine and a male aspect in his appearance, which made him, to me, perfect for the role of the French king and every part in Lully’s face showed his devotion and love for his employer.
These aspects made ‘Le roi danse’ into the perfect movie for me. I highly recommend it to anyone who loves old/classical music, court dancing, history, the French language, great actors or even better: all of these!

Since my blog is still a Lolita blog, I created ‘the Lolifactor’. Here I shortly answer the question: ‘Is this movie loliable?’
The movie takes place just before the Rococo-period, the period that highly influenced the Lolita style. The movie has fantastic music and costumes that are perfect for any Classic Lolita occasion.
Lolifactor: ♥♥/5

‘Je n’ai pas d’amis’
‘I have no friends’

Monday, January 10, 2011

A Few of My Favourite Things: Rainbowfood

Since I’m not very happy today, I decided to write a new ‘Favourite Things’ to cheer myself up. I thought of a thing that really brightens up a day and I immediately thought of a rainbow (I think it literally brightens up a day ^^)! I think rainbows are the most beautiful natural phenomenons of all: nature in all its pretty colours, sliding through the air after the rain when the sun starts to shine again.
I absolutely love colours (although I wear black so often, sigh…)! My room is a mixture of bright pink, lime green and turquoise blue, combined with objects in any colour imaginable.

When I started looking for good pictures of rainbows, I came across this gorgeous-looking rainbowcake, which made me realise what would cheer me up even more: a delicious cake and a rainbow, combined! I’d definitely eat something as colourful like this, being it cake or not!

Unfortunately, I don’t have any cake right now, so I’ll just have to dream of the one on the picture. I think it would be too difficult to make/bake anyway. ^^

‘The colours of the rainbow, so pretty in the sky
are also on the faces of the people passing by’