Monday, 12 August 2013

Less than 1 month to go...

When I first got engaged back in December 2011, September 2013 seemed so very far away. Now, the wedding date is in just under 1 month and time is just pouring through my fingers like sand! I have been thinking today about how much has changed since Mr Diy-Dolly proposed on Charles Bridge on that cold Thursday afternoon.

During the wedding planning process, there has been a fair amount of drama and changes of circumstances. All of the following have happened in the past year or so:
  • We got a dog
  • I lost weight 
  • My dad got married
  • I made a lovely new friend
  • Our best man got married
  • My sister-in-law-to-be got married
  • I bought a wedding dress that did not fit
  • My bridesmaid 'quit the wedding'
  • I lost several old friends
  • I had a nervous breakdown
  • We mourned the loss of our beloved dog
  • We moved house
  • I quit my job of 4 years
  • I put on weight
  • My maid of honour got married
  • My maid of honour got pregnant
  • I got a new job
  • My dad was made redundant
  • My poor maid of honour had a miscarriage
  • My stepdad is potentially losing his job
Life is life, I know, but it's been a bit of a rollercoaster couple of years for me, my husband-to-be, my family and my friends. The wedding will be a time when all of us come together and for just one day, try to put the negative experiences of the past behind us and celebrate the positives, as well as the wonderful things we may do or have in the future. 

And on this moment of reflection, I have to thank everyone that has stood by me through one of the most difficult and changeable times in my life to date. They say everyone goes through a major personality change every 10 years or so, but what they don't tell you is that it is normally in reaction to life changing drastically around you. I am truly blessed to have some amazing people in my life who, despite all these changes, still love me for who I am. Not least of all, my ever enduring husband-to-be, without whom I would not be here today. And in 3 weeks and 5 days I get to stand up in front of all those amazing people and tell him just that. :)

Friday, 2 August 2013

Hyperjapan 2013

Hi folks!

As you may be aware, last weekend was the Hyperjapan 2013 event at Earls Court in London, which is a wonderful celebration of all things Japanese! It includes a cosplay parade, gaming area, plenty of Japanese food stalls, Japanese cooking lessons, a huge range of stalls selling everything from anime DVDs and manga comics to cute accessories and traditional kimono. There are also two different stage areas with various music, fashion and art performances throughout the day and a small dojo area where martial arts and dance performances were taking place. There really is something for everyone and I highly recommend it! The atmosphere is buzzing and lots of people are dressed up in cute and colourful cosplays and Japanese inspired outfits.

I dressed up in a casual lolita-esque outfit made up mainly of items I already had to hand as with the wedding looming I didn't have enough time to make a costume:

My full outfit consisted of:
  • Black polka dot swing dress from Lady V London
  • Black Crinoline (purchased from ebay)
  • Pink cardigan from Dorothy Perkins
  • Black and pink knee high socks (from ebay)
  • Black pumps (ebay)
  • Tarina Tarantino Gothic Hello Kitty heart necklace (from Dollydagger)
  • Pink heart clip by BonjourHoney (on Etsy)
  • Brown curly lolita wig (ebay)
  • Pink heart bag (Topshop)
We got to Earls Court for about 11am, which by the sounds of other peoples' blogs was very lucky indeed as after that the queues started to grow quite considerably. We were fortunate, however, and went straight in without any issues. If you ever do decide to go to Hyperjapan, my advice is: get there EARLY! :)

Upon entering, I clocked this pair and just had to ask them for a picture. Don't they look amazing?

After a little while of walking around having a little nose at the stalls, we booked ourselves onto one of the cookery workshops. Then, my friends and I decided the best course of action was to have an early lunch. We headed to the ramen stall and these guys served us a massive cup of ramen each, and a cheeky beer!

I had ebi-fried prawn ramen, which was delicious but there were a few too many beansprouts for my liking. I do like beansprouts, but it was a sort of 50/50 situation with the noodles...and I like my noodles! After a quick lunch, we ambled our way over to the food and drink demo area to partake of our sushi lesson. The lady running these workshops was lovely and has a new book out called Sushi at Home, which I would very much like to get my hands on one day. These lessons are great as not only do they teach you how to make the food, but you also get to try some for yourself! Free sushi? YES PLEASE.

Our friends didn't like their sushi so Mr DIY-Dolly and I had extra. They were inside-out rolls too, my absolute favourite sushi. Yum! After the lesson, we headed over to the games area. I couldn't resist checking out the Animal Crossing bit and having my photo taken in the little stand:

I played a little Animal Crossing on the DS and it hasn't changed a bit. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing...We spent the rest of the day wandering around checking out all the amazing stalls and bumping into cool cosplayers. We had just started watching 'Attack on Titan' the night before, so when we saw the Colossal Titan, we just had to take his picture! Here are some of my favourite cosplay pics of the day:

I just caught the end of this lady's amazing dance routine on the dojo mat, she was incredible:

Couldn't resist the opportunity to take a photo with the amazing blinged-out van with a bed in the back. It reminded me of Saints Row 3! I was too embarrassed to get in it as lots of people were looking and my skirt was so huge I thought I might get I just perched on the edge.

 After lots more walking around, we had a little snack before watching the cosplay parade and heading back home. It just wouldn't be Hyperjapan if the mister and I didn't share a bento box, so we went to the lovely guys at Feng Sushi to get a salmon bento:

On the left is our bento, but our friends most definitely not being sushi fans opted for fried chicken yakitori instead. It looked amazeballs so I must admit I had a little food envy.

And finally here's all the little bits and pieces I acquired on the day:

  • Gloomy Bear plush
  • Fan that I customised at the Japan Language school stand - the writing reads "Happy Claire"
  • Purple hair accessory (planning to use this for the wedding somewhen..)
  • Cute notebook from Artbox (couldn't resist!)
And my freebies!
  • Recipe book
  • Pen 
  • Lipbalm
  • Onitsuka Tiger mini shoe keyring and badge
I did also buy some Wonka Sweetarts from the Cybercandy stall but..well..they didn't even last the train ride home.

Did you go to Hyperjapan this year? If so, what did you think of it? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Until next time, thank you for reading! xxx

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