Thursday, July 23, 2015

Cutie on the Clock: Being Cute When You're Strapped for Time

Getting into alternative fashion takes time, and if you're anything like me you probably don't always have time to frill yourself up. That doesn't mean you have to give up on your cute (or spooky, or foresty) inclinations. You just need to get a little creative.

I work in an office and am usually pretty strapped for time, so I know this feeling all too well. These are the ways that I bring my alternative leanings into my life when I just don't have time to dress up.


I am a huge fan of character bento for making me feel adorable when I don't have much time to actually be adorable. Now, character bento might seem like it's going to take up a ton of your time, but it really doesn't have to. My favorite way to do my bento is to do a bunch of freezer-safe bento additions every few weeks, then eat off that stash for another few weeks.

The first step for me is to make cute milk buns because they are easy to form into animal shapes, much more freezer friendly than rice, can be filled with thick fillings if I am so inclined, and make my lunch cute with the absolute minimum of effort. Some batches end up with food coloring in them, but most are white.

 I also have a stock of plastic cupcake toppers from the local dollar store. Nothing says cutesy and spooky like a mini kebab on a stick topped with a little black bat.

And, as an added bonus, I can eat healthy and still look forward to every day's lunch!

Yes, this was as tasty as it was cute!

Femme Up Your Shirts

One of the things I work very hard to do with my wardrobe is buy almost exclusively pieces that can be worn with a wide variety of outfits. I love my cutsew and blouse collection because I can wear them dressed up with lolita or in a more "normal" office outfit. Granted, my coworkers have pointed out that I apparently always look cute, so normal isn't going to be exactly where I land, but it certainly doesn't hurt my mood any!

The real advantage to this is that wearing cute shirts with regular dress pants or skirts doesn't take much work but really adds some cuteness to the outfit as a whole.

Add Some Cute to Your Cube

I work in an office, and I know that it can be really difficult to wear alternative fashion in that sort of setting. However, I also know that it's worth it to bring some of your alternative style to your office setting. My cube has seasonal decorations (like my little woodland setting this winter) and some decorations that should be seasonal but instead stay forever (like my dancing skeleton who lives by my grammar books).

Even if I end up in a heavy sweater and jeans for the workday, surrounding myself with things that reflect my personal brand of weird is a really good way to keep myself happy.

My little display from this past winter.

Make Mine Music

One of the biggest time drains in my life is my morning and evening commute, but well-chosen music takes that from frustrating to the "me time" that I need. I have a number of old school mix CDs stocked with anything from folklore-inspired music to metal to guitar-driven numbers.

What about you? What do you do to express your alternative leanings when you're strapped for time?

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Happy Birthday to Me and a Recipe for You

Hello, all!

Because it's my birthday (26 whole years on this planet!), I'm taking the day off from blogging. I love you to bits and will resume properly blogging for the next scheduled post.

But, because it is my birthday, though, I wanted to share a cake-like recipe that is pretty and tasty. Since I'm not big on frosted cake - weird, I know - green tea muffins are my treat of choice for this year's birthday. I mentioned this birthday this past winter when I went to The Cedar.

This recipe does look weird, I admit. Just trust me when I say that it will come together and form a rather tasty muffin.

Green Tea Mini Muffins
Adapted from an original recipe from Emilie Autumn, included with the first edition of The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls.

1/2 cup vanilla yogurt (I recommend Greek yogurt)
2/3 cup milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup confectioners sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup corn starch
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
3 tsp. matcha (powdered green tea)

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Place paper baking cups into a mini muffin tin.

In a large bowl, mix together the first six ingredients. In another bowl, sift together the remaining ingredients and, if needed, stir until the matcha is evenly blended. Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture until just incorporated.

Fill the cups in the muffin tin 1/3 full with the batter and sprinkle granulated sugar on top of the muffins. Bake 15 minutes or until lightly browned on the edges.

Optional: serve warm with raspberry sherbet.