Thursday, 23 March 2017

Dancing with Wolves [OOTD]

Once upon a time in a grey, urban Underland, there lived an entirely unimpressive girl who refused to call herself an adult. She liked growing up in a city but she often wished that she could see the stars in the night sky, instead of the rectangular lights from the apartment buildings. Or that trees towered over her, rather than skyscrapers. That is why when she had to leave her home, she always chose those paths which winded through parks and gardens. And no matter where she went, she always made sure to dress accordingly (according to her own standards, that is).

 One day, the girl decided to go on a walk in the nearest park with one of her closest friend Mi. The weather was nice, so she selected a particularly striking dress. Ruby red, it was, with a hood to match. This dress of hers, she had got from Misfit Army, owned by another friend of hers, also by the name of Mirella. Though it looked excellent on its own, it also bore accessories proudly - corsets, cardigans, jackets and more. Those items, she tended to find scattered around

Backpack: Canterbury market
The finishing touch of this outfit was her amulet for protection received from her lover. He lived a thousand miles away from her, so she always gifts from him close to her heart. You never knew when the Big Bad Wolf might jump out from between the trees, so best be prepared.
Cardigan: Miso
Dress: Misfit Army
"White Wolf" stock image: ITSDURA on DeviantArt
Entirely convincing photoshop edit: Me, sadly
Necklace: Unknown
Belt: Ebay
Pictures: the incredible babe Mi
Leggings: Calzedonia
Shoes: Unknown
  ... Oh, were you expecting more to this tale? You are, of course, aware that in stories like these, one only ever hears about the main characters' appearance and rarely about what they actually did? Very well. If you would like to see more, you can visit Mi's page and read (or at least see) another, quite different perspective of that day. You can also feel free to share your opinions in the comment section below, or perhaps suggest a better fairy tale for next time. For now, however, I bid you adieu. And remember not to talk to strangers on your way.
Art by Cowsloveclover

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Mo Nighean Donn [OOTD]

 "Mo nighean donn."
"What does that mean?"
"My brown-haired lass."
"Rather a dull colour, brown, I've always thought."
"No. No, not dull at all. It's like the... the water in a burn, the way it ruffles down the rocks. Dark in the wavy spots with wee bits of auburn when the sun touches it."

 And this is how Jamie Fraser, the dashing redhead from the Outlander novels and series, melted the hearts of brunettes worldwide. I am in the process of readjusting to my natural dark-brown hair colour and adapting rather well, one might say. It will not be long until I stop needing the support of my bright green highlights (not pictured here, as they fade rather quickly).

 But this is hardly the only "blast from the past" in my life right now. I recently visited Tsarevets Fortress in Veliko Tarnovo dressed in one of my favourite skirts - a hand-me-down from my mother's youth (pictured above). Upon seeing me, an elderly man there exclaimed "Oh, a Scottish kilt!" and, though it is neither a kilt, nor does the tartan pattern come from any genuine Scottish clan's (I assume), that comment was a good-natured one and it made me smile. At the time, I was wearing none of the accessories pictured here. This goes to show that this skirt needs no help from faux fur or matching scarves to stand out beautifully on its own. Those are just a nice touch.

Hat/Шапка: Tommy Hilfiger
Scarf/Шал: New Yorker
Gloves/Ръкавици: Unknown brand / Неизвестна марка
Top/Блуза: Unknown brand (vintage) / Неизвестна марка (винтидж)
Belt/Колан: Unknown brand (Secondhand) / Неизвестна марка (втора употреба)
Skirt/Пола: vintage/винтидж
Tights/Чорапогащи: Calzedonia
Shoes/Обувки: Unknown / Неизвестна марка

  And now you can see this skirt as I had originally worn it when visiting Veliko Tarnovo - no belts or other accessories, just comfort, happiness and history in an outfit. The former, I decided to add later on, as an "upgraded" and more photogenic version of the same look.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Candid [February Favourites, 2017]

 When I first made this blog, I promised myself that, though I might not share much personal information to the public, I would be as sincere and honest in what I wrote as possible. So far, I have not strayed from that goal. This is why I will confess that I have felt very unsatisfied with myself and what I have created and/or put out into the world lately. This includes any writing and imagery you may see me post. However, I plan not to let myself delete all of my internet spaces and start anew, as I have done may times before. Instead, I will allow myself a bit more freedom here (believe it or not, I tried my best to limit my topics and themes). I hope that you will bear with me during this period. And maybe, just maybe, you might find something you like in this jumble of interests.

LITERATURE: Faerie Magazine
 Faerie Magazine is far from your usual read-in-the-bathroom-when-you-forget-your-phone periodical, though you are absolutely free to do exactly that. Every letter and pixel printed on the pages of these mags are chosen with the greatest of care and attention to detail and I have yet to see a single piece of filler material or even a typo within. All of the artists, travel destinations, arts-and-crafts projects and recipes are worth checking out. And if you don't feel like reading the articles or short stories inside, simply admiring the gorgeous imagery will be enough to breathe new life into the otherwise dull quotidian.

MOVING PICTURES: Guardian: The Lonely and Great God
 I had stopped watching television for many years but the desire to do so is slowly coming back to me under the strong influence of my family and mi amore. So far, my "watching" list consists mostly of documentaries about wildlife and Medieval English literature, but I find it equally enjoyable to sit back and watch something simple to switch my brain off for an hour. And that's where K-Dramas came in, and more specifically Goblin (도깨비) or Guardian: The Lonely and Great God. What drew me in to this particular drama was the beautiful cinematography, the elements of fantasy involved, and the burning desire to find parallels between European goblins and Korean dokkaebi. The storyline itself is nothing fantastic or unpredictable, but seeing it through the perspective of a culture vastly different from our Western one definitely feels refreshing. The episodes are far too long for me to watch in one sitting, but they are packed with information and events and it's easy to pause without experiencing the nagging sensation of leaving something unfinished. Plus, Lee Dong-wook makes a rather handsome Grim Reaper, don't you think?


Mostly calming tunes, probably influenced by my need to relax during and after the exam session. Some instances of pop and electronica, and just a hint of the heavier motives I usually go for.
 I wrote very little in February (apart from university assignments, of course), but my camera was not as idle as my pen. Above are some of the looks I got to shoot, all created by the amazing and talented Vess, and you can see more of them on her Facebook page and her Instagram. She has only just started posting her looks, but I'm itching to shoot her and my beautiful Gabriella again soon.
PLACES: Tsarevets fortress
 I do not plan on writing a separate post about my trip to Veliko Tarnovo yet, but I cannot ignore it without a mention, either. Here, you can see examples of Bulgarian architecture from the Early Revival period all the way through the Liberation. The grey giants of Communism, however, have hidden these historical buildings from sight. If one were driving past Veliko Tarnovo, one might not look twice, were it not for the imposing ruins of the Tsarevets fortress surveying the roads from the hillside. This fort has been the home of four of Bulgaria's kings and the death of the Latin Emperor Baldwin I of Constantinople. The tower in which he was imprisoned and perished now bears his name. An even more morbid scene is the Execution rock, where those who were sentenced to death were thrown into the Yantra river. If all of this is too dark for you, then turn your attention to the Patriarchal Cathedral of the Holy Ascension of God. You would never guess that behind its 11th-and-14th-century walls (built atop a late Roman church) lie strikingly modernist murals. Added during its reconstruction in the 20th century, they scenes of medieval Bulgaria. Finally, the fortress boasts an audiovisual show which tells of many key moments of Bulgaria's history.
 Overall, this is more an educational venture than anything else. You might find it both physically and mentally tiring, but I promise you it is worth the effort.

GAMES: Mystic Messenger

  If my introduction to this post did not make you click "Unfollow" on all of my social media accounts, then feel free to do so now. I am not making a good impression by choosing a mobile phone game and a dating simulator, at that, as my first feature. Honestly, even I do not understand how I got sucked into it, but the fact is that Mystic Messenger is terribly addictive once you've started playing. And, in the spirit of all otome games, it also makes you feel like you are the most special person in the world, without you doing anything other than chatting with attractive fictional characters. If you are still reading because you are waiting for me to tell you how this game is different from other dating sims, feel free to stop here. I will not be able to make such a bold claim, as it this the only game of its kind I have ever played, and it was ultimately exactly what I expected an otome to be like. I would call it a guilty pleasure, but I don't believe that one should feel guilty for something as insignificant as liking a female-oriented game. My only wish is that it would stop hogging all of my phone RAM. Perhaps Agent 707 could fix that. Or he'd just hack my phone.

WEARABLES: Candy Pink wig by EverydayWigs
Taken & edited by my babe Mi
It took me a while to gather the courage to style and wear this blessing from the lacefront deities, but once I did I could not stop. The overbearing presence of pink on my Instagram profile is proof enough. This colour is achieved through a blend of pastel pinks, blondes and lilacs. The soft and silky material has just the right amount of shine to it, and it leaves this beautiful wig at your command. If you'd like to restore or reshape some of the waves, all you have to do is curl the strands of hair around your finger and release. Plus, in most cases finger-combing tends to work for loosening any tangles. If that isn't enough, EverydayWigs thoughtfully include a comb and two wig caps into all orders. While I enjoy being an earthy little forest elf, I certainly like to pretend that I am a resident of Lothlórien with this beauty.

 What were some of your favourite things last month?

P.S. These posts are under no obligation to stick to the same topics each month and may be subject to changes at any point. And, should anybody feel like they want to know about something other than these few points, they are absolutely free to add a comment below.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

"The Naming of Cats Is a Difficult Matter" [Photo Diary: Lady Dinah's Cat Emporium]

 The waitress comes up to our table and, with a friendly flick of her cat-ears headband, takes our order: one "Alice" and one "Wookie" hot chocolate, please."Good choice," she winks "they're my favourites too!".

 No, we have not lost our way in London and wandered into a Maid café. We are in Lady Dinah's Cat Emporium, a two-story cat café where trees grow underground and time always passes far too quickly. We are in Wonderland.

 To start off, I would like to put everyone's doubts to rest, regarding of how ethical Lady Dinah's Cat Emporium is: the cats living here are all rescues. They have plenty of space to live and toys to frolic and have fun with. Their carers make no compromise with the health and happiness of these lovely felines. Remember, however, to always do your research on the cafés you visit.

 The admission fee goes entirely towards the needs of the cats (food, kitty litter, vet fees). Despite what many probably expect, the menu inside is reasonably priced and both the food and drinks are delicious and filling. Each of the speciality drinks bears the name of one of the thirteen cats, and all of those cats have fantastical and Disney-inspired names. "The Alice" was a soft and fluffy rose white chocolate (we Bulgarians love our roses). Neither the flowery aroma nor the sweetness were overbearing, as they tend to be in similar hot drinks, and the result was a soothing bedtime hug in liquid form. Mi amore's "Wookie" orange milk hot chocolate is a combination I normally dislike and actively avoid, but a single whiff of it was enough to make me briefly reconsider my choice. Plus, who could resist this adorable, fluffy face. I am definitely trying "The Wendy" Irish cream mocha next time!

 If you are hungry, then you are definitely in luck, because all of their bagels get served with a side of salad and crisps. I got a tuna sweetcorn salad bagel, and mi amore opted for  brie, rocket and sundried tomato one. After a lunch like that and ages spent playing with our fluffy hosts, we felt ready to tackle London. But that is a story for another time...

 I shall not name all of the cats pictured in this post, for I am afraid I will make a mistake along the way. I will, however, hint that Wookie is a feline you just can't miss!

Enjoy, kitty lovers!

Monday, 9 January 2017

"Daylight Lucidity" [Amsterdam, the Netherlands]

 Lung clouds. It's what I called them when I was too little to accept the fact that even if I jumped as high as I could, I still would not fly. They made the snowless winters more fun. I still amuse myself with the steam coming out of my own mouth sometimes.

 Lung clouds. The memory caught me by surprise whilst I was looking through the window of a toy shop. The remnants of my last breath slowly faded from the glass. Amsterdam looked more beautiful now than the previous times I'd visited it. Maybe it was the sparkling decorations, the Christmas carols. Maybe it was the search for material presents that would make my loved ones' souls happy. I felt like a child with a heartbeat fluttering faster than the bustling crowds of Damrak.

 I find it hard to look where I am going in Amsterdam. It is not that the streets and pavements are too chaotic. It is because every gabled facade, brightly-coloured shop window and suspiciously tiny alley fights for attention. Despite all of this, it is hard to get lost anywhere in the city, even if you try - its transport services are remarkably easy to navigate. You will find landmarks everywhere you go. Plus, just about everybody there speaks English and they will point you in the right direction.

 If there is one thing you can be certain about, it's that everything you have on your "To do in Amsterdam" list will be worth doing. With so many distractions around us, me and mi amore barely saw any of the proper tourist hotspots and museums. Amongst the places we did tick off were:

Gunther Von Hagen's Body Worlds. Skip this one if you are squeamish. Body Worlds is an excellent educational facility. Your teachers there are real bodies and organs, donated to the museum by people who passed away. Your textbook exercises are to laugh, run, jump, swing, dance, and enjoy life. Your homework is up to you to choose, after you have learned more about how your lifestyle choices affect your health and well-being. This is the only museum that my healer of a fiancé insisted on seeing, and both of us enjoyed our time there.
The Amsterdam Dungeon. We went in here expecting to get a bit of a fright. The fantastic actors there made sure to give us a few good jump scares. What we did not expect, however, was to laugh until tears streamed from our eyes. I was "voluntold" to assist in the autopsy of the infamous criminal Black John (thanks for raising my hand for me, darling). It could have been worse, though. I could have faced trial for witchcraft in "The Courtroom" and later been burned at the stake. Thankfully, I am good at hiding the fact that I am actually a witch.

"I wonder if he'll notice..."
Madame Tussauds
Contrary to the popularity of Madame Tussauds wax museum, I would not say that visiting it is an absolute necessity. Consider the cost of the entry tickets to convince yourself. Still, gave us the opportunity to visit this and many other attractions entirely for free. Given the circumstances, I could not miss out on holding a speech next to Angela Merkel, saving the world alongside the Avengers, or squeezing one or two celebrities' squishy bits!

The Sex Museum
 No, do not give me that look. Forget the rather blunt aesthetics of the Sex Museum. You will see that it has an impressive collection of art and historical photographs. What's more, it has managed to combine them all into genuinely interesting exhibits. Be warned that the constant soundtrack of moans of pleasure might make you feel rather uncomfortable. Take comfort in the fact that it probably has the exact same effect on everybody. Relax and have a good laugh. Photography is allowed, so make sure you take some pictures to show your grandchildren in a few decades!
The Red Light District
This infamous tourist hotspot hardly needs an introduction. If you are interested in the cultural peculiarities and the history of sex work in the Netherlands, I definitely recommend visiting it with a tour group, rather than on your own. I also suggest you have a stroll down the Rossebuurt during the daytime as well. In the daylight the displays do not hog all of the attention and you can see how charming the buildings truly are. Do not forget your manners when admiring the girls. No gawking at them, and certainly no taking photos of them are allowed.

Kopjes Cat Café
Yes, Amsterdam has one as well and it is just as lovely and cozy as you would imagine. The eight cats there are all rescues from shelters and they were carefully monitored. The staff caring for them were practically beaming the entire time. Who wouldn't if they were surrounded by cats all day? Bear in mind that you need to make a reservation before you visit any cat café anywhere. Only a limited number of people can be present at a given time. This is to prevent the cats from being overwhelmed by the attention. They also have a separate compartment they can retreat to, should they wish to get away from the humans. A tip is to go in the early afternoon, as all of the kitties will most likely be asleep towards the end of the day.

 As much as we enjoyed each of these places, however, the best way to get to know a city is through its music scene and its people. We had the pleasure of having a drink with Yoana and Lars, two of the funniest and most charismatic personages I know. After a long chat with them, they sent us off to Paradiso hall, where Delain were having a concert for the tenth anniverary of Lucidity. The show was amazing and we are eagerly waiting for the DVD to come out. And no, I did not cheat my way through my own guide to having an amazing trip. Delain are a local band, albeit one with a fairly large following now.

 If you are interested in reading more about the show from me, please, tell me through a comment or a message on any of my social media sites. I will oblige with a separate blog post.

 If I could, I would visit Amsterdam over and over and each trip would probably feel just as overwhelmingly fantastic as the first. Of course, when you live somewhere and spend each day walking down the same streets, you will inevitably get used to the scenery. Nevertheless, if you want a bit of variety, all you have to do is take a right or a left anywhere outside your usual route and look up at the buildings. You won't find the exact same ones anywhere else.