Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Hyper Japan 2014: Sweets and Treats

Last Saturday, me and Deccy went to Hyper Japan at Earls Court in London. It's a lovely event all about Japanese Culture from old traditions to kawaii lifestyles. The first time we attended Hyper Japan was two years ago and since then, the event has just grown and grown. This time, the layout was split into lots of sections, with many stages for live performances and areas to go to for specific interests. There was a more traditional section, selling beautiful Japanese homeware, Kimonos and art. There was a Kawaii section filled with anime, manga, lots of cosplay and cute Japanese snacks. There was also a market section were you could purchase handmade, special items from jewellery to wigs, toys to artwork. The food section is probably a favourite spot for most people, selling yummy sushi and katsu curry, bubble tea and dorayaki! 

Of course, I couldn't really leave the event without purchasing a few treats..and by a few, I mean we went silly in Tofu Cute! Pocky and Japanese KitKats are definitely some of my favourite sweet treats. We picked up a few of our old favourites (strawberry) and some new ones, coconut! I also grabbed a bottle of Peach Iced Tea to try being a complete tea addict. We then wandered around the market but to be honest, every stall was looking very similar. If you like Fairy Kei and Sweet Lolita, you would be in shopping heaven! However, we did come across an artist selling prints of her work and I snapped one up immediately! Her artwork is beautiful, hitting on the creepy/guro vibes that I'm so drawn too. I'll do a separate post about her work later. 

Both Deccy and I are big fans of Lego so when we saw the nanoblock stand, well, we knew we'd be going home with some. We picked up 'Tokyo Tower' and a teeny tiny piano. The Alpaca (pictured in my previous OOTD post) was the first thing I bought haha. I can't help it, I have three's a problem but a cute one! Lastly, the Spirited Away T-shirt. This was actually bought after the event when we popped across to Camden Town. It's a beautiful print and I really love the colours. 

Well, that's my little Hyper Japan haul! Next up will be a more detailed look at the art I picked up and some more treats from JP Books and Japan Centre! I hope that you're having a good week so far. 

Do you have a favourite Japanese sweet treat?

Thank You For Reading

Monday, 28 July 2014

Outfit Of The Day: Pastel Dolly

Baby Doll Dress: Meadham Kirchhoff x Topshop
Underskirt: Bodyline
Tattoo Tights: eBay
Pastel Platform Sneakers: eBay
Bag: Gift from Deccy
Hat: Claire's Accessories (decorated by me)
Accessories: Roxie Sweetheart, Primark, Gifts
Alpaca: Hyper Japan 

On Saturday I went to Hyper Japan in London. Hyper Japan is the UK's largest Japanese event all about Japanese Pop Culture, traditional culture, food, anime, manga, cosplay and lots, lots more. I was originally going to do Shironuri but decided against it at the last minute. I've been feeling really off and uncomfortable in my own skin lately so I thought it would be better to go in something more relaxed, filled with my favourite colours and floaty for Summer. 

The event was really lovely and me and Deccy spent far too much money at the Tofu Cute stand. I'll do a separate post on things I bought later. I hope that you like this little outfit post. If you'd like to see more of these, let me know! I'm really wanting to try and work harder on my blog so if there's anything you'd like to see, please let me know xx

Did anyone else go to Hyper Japan?

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Sunday, 20 July 2014

Super Gooey Peanut Butter Bars

This recipe comes from River Cottage and is definitely one of my favourite things to bake. These super gooey bars are jam packed with yummy seeds, fruit and nuts and perfect for anytime of the day (especially breakfast with a cup of tea!).

125g Unsalted Butter 
150g Light Muscovado Sugar
125g Peanut Butter (crunchy)
75g Honey (plus a bit extra to drizzle)
200g Porridge Oats (not jumbo)
150g Dried Fruit (I used cranberries and cherries)
150g Mixed Seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, poppy etc)

Preheat Oven to 160˚c or Gas Mark 3 and grease/line a baking tin around 23cm square. Put the butter, peanut butter, honey and sugar into a sauce pan and heat gently. Stir occasionally until all the ingredients have melted together. 

Add the oats, fruit and 3/4 of the seeds to the melted mixture. Mix well until everything is coated. 

Place the mixture into the baking tray. Sprinkle remaining seeds and drizzle with honey. Bake in the centre of the preheated oven for about 30mins, until the centre is golden brown and the edges are darker brown. 

Leave to cool completely before cutting into slices. They will fall apart if you don't. These yummy bars will keep for about 5-7 days in an airtight container. Or better yet, pop them in the fridge once they are cool so they really harden up. 

Really hope you like this super quick and easy recipe. Try it with different fruits and seeds, you can even throw in some chocolate chips! 

Thank You For Reading 

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Of Two Minds: A Insight To Bipolar Disorder

"Take your best day and your darkest moment...and multiply by a million"

Whenever I hear of a documentary coming out about Mental Health issues, I cringe. I've seen so many films that try to explain what having a mental illness is like but ends up just being full of cliches, poorly acted 'reenactments' and just plain bad advice. Then, one evening whilst flicking through Netflix, I stumbled upon "Of Two Minds'. Described as a documentary about Bipolar Disorder, I was hesitant to watch but as soon as I started to watch, I was hooked, educated and so surprised. 

The film talks to several different people who live there lives with Bipolar Disorder. Through following them day to day, revealing interviews and bravery to be honest and open, this film gives the viewer a real and raw look at what it's like to live with Bipolar. Each person lives very differently, has different history, race, background..showing that once again Mental Illness can affect anyone and Mental Illness should be spoken about. The person who really intrigued me and had me completely wrapped up in his world was, Carlton Davis. Without saying too much (you have to watch this film!), Davis is an extraordinary artist, showcasing his 'outsider art' throughout the film, it's beautiful and painful all at the same time. He also shows snippets of his journals, all full of sketches, writings, from time of mania and depression. 

There's a lot of controversy around documentaries about Mental Health. Same goes for memoirs/books and art about Mental Health. A lot people find them triggering, unhelpful but to me, that doesn't mean that they shouldn't exist. If you find something triggering, please think about your own safety first and don't watch or read. This documentary talks about some very serious issues, Bipolar Disorder, drug abuse, self harm and suicide. If you are a person who finds these subjects triggering, please, for your own safety and recovery, do what is best for you. 

This documentary really opened my eyes to Bipolar Disorder. Having mental health issues myself and having been misdiagnosed with Bipolar in the past, I knew a little about it but this documentary shows the real picture. What real life is like when you have this disorder, what day to day is like, it's raw, it's real, it's to the point. Please do check it out on Netflix. Mental Health isn't nearly spoken about enough but with documentaries like this one, we can start to open up, start to beat the stigma and start to honest with each other. 

Please check out the "Of Two Minds" website here for more information!

Thank You For Reading

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Asylum: Inside The Closed World Of State Mental Hospitals

"We tend to think of mental hospitals as 'snake pits' - places of nightmarish squalor and abuse - and this is how they have been portrayed in books and film. Few Americans, however realise that these institutions were once monuments of civic pride, built with noble intentions by leading architects and physicians, who envisioned the asylums as places of refuge, therapy and healing"

I've always had a morbid curiosity when it comes to abandoned mental hospitals. I have no idea why or when this weird fascination began but it's something I've been interested in for a long time. I guess having spent time in a psychiatric hospital for my own personal demons and visited my family for theirs, it's always been interesting to me to see what treatment used to be like, how this whole 'asylum' business started and who thought it was a good idea! For my birthday just gone, Deccy got me this AMAZING photography book called Asylum: Inside The Closed World Of State Mental Hospitals. The books goes deep into the abandoned world of America's Mental Hospitals, photographing everything from the beautiful, gothic architecture, to medical equipment, beds, gardens and patients belongings left behind. What intrigues me most about this book is just the sheer amount of things, personal belongings etc that are left behind. Tennis shoes all neatly put away, medical tools still lined up as if ready to be used for surgery, restraint jackets hung up delicately on's odd but eerily interesting! The thing about Mental Hospitals that keep me hooked is the history. These hospitals weren't always the awful, terrifying places of doom and gloom that we are led to believe today. A lot of these places were a safe haven for the ones who felt unsafe. A place to feel a sense of community when their own community had cast them aside. A place for people who could not deal with the outside world, but where given the chance to work and feel like a part of something good. Yes, asylums were closed down, abandoned and demolished for good reason but they were certainly not all like 'One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest'

Please check out the website for this book HERE

Thank You For Reading

Monday, 30 June 2014

Happy Birthday Haul

Last Monday it was my Birthday! Usually, I'm not a fan of my own birthday, I love spoiling and surprising other people more but honestly, it was one of the best birthdays ever! The day itself was really chilled, I got up early and had birthday cuddles with my furbabies and then I opened presents with Deccy.

 I got a tonne of beautiful books from Deccy and his family. In October, I'm starting my degree so I'd had a pretty large reading list planned for summer, all psychology related and I can't wait to dive in! I also got some super cute Little Twin Stars pieces and my first ever piece of Chanel.

This is the only thing that I asked for and I'm so, so happy that Deccy bought it for me. It's a beautiful, pastel pink Roberts Retro Radio. I have wanted one of these for years but never got round to buying one. I first saw it when my sister had a red one in her kitchen and I was forever playing Gold (a 60's radio station) whenever I could. The colour is so cute too.

Of course Bilbo had to get in on the photography..

On Thursday, Deccy took me out for the day and his mum came up to look after Bilbo and Dusty. I had no idea what we were going to do so I was super excited. A car ride later, we arrived at the SeaLife Centre and I got told that I was going to be feeding the Sharks!!!! OMGEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE I couldn't believe it! Sharks are one of my favourite animals (next to sloths and lions) and I have always wanted to feed and cage dive with them. I just think that they are such beautiful and misunderstood creatures so the opportunity to actually get close to some and feed them..well, it was a dream come true! After we fed them, the trainer actually had another surprise and took me and Deccy 'behind the scenes' to hold and stroke the baby sharks. Oh my goodness, the babies were so adorable, they look just like adult shark but with tiny teeth. After that, we got to go and stroke some of the bigger sharks and that was amazing. They are so smooth to touch head to tail but stroke them the other way and they feel like sandpaper. They were so chilled and relaxed though, it was just incredible to be that close to them. I'm so grateful to Deccy for surprising me and making this the best birthday ever.

Thank You For Reading

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Photo Diary: My Little Life

Lately, blogging has taken a bit of a backseat but I've still been keeping up to date on Twitter and Instagram so I thought I'd put together a little photo diary of what I've been up too.

1: Spending time with my little bundle of joy Bilbo. He hadn't been with us a week and he's already turning into the biggest softie ever. 

2: My other little bundle of joy, Dusty. She's slowly getting used to Bilbo now and she's still very much the Queen of the house. 

3: A beautiful bouquet of flowers that Decs mum got for me. I love flowers so much, they instantly cheer me right up! If you ever want a quick fix for a dull room, FLOWERS! 

4: A little bit of treat shopping. The Barry M Brow Kit is amazing. Such good value for money and so easy to use too. I've been trying to grow my brows a little and now they are starting to look a lot more natural. 

5: My two addictions, Skinny Vanilla Chai Tea Lattes and Cats!

6: A mew (see what I did there :/) t-shirt that I got from Camden Market. It's so comfy and oversized, perfect to throw over shorts or leggings. 

7: Hanging out with Totoro and doing some reading. I was thinking of doing a book review if anyone would be interested? I absolutely loved 'The Skeleton Cupboard', I seriously couldn't put it down. 

8: My favourite author Marya Hornbacher recently re-released her first book 'Wasted' with a brand new extra chapter all about Recovery! I haven't started reading it yet but I'm so EXCITED! 

Well, that's my little life all summed up in pictures with filters. I'm an instagram addict, I can't help it! If you guys have an instagram account, let me know and I'll stalk you. I hope that everyone has had an amazing weekend and are enjoying the sun. 

Do you have an instagram account?

Thank You For Reading