Sunday, 31 January 2021

January 2021 Kawaii & Geeky Wishlist

Hi guys! It's time to share my first wishlist of 2021, and also my first kawaii & geeky wishlist post for MONTHS now!! To be honest, I felt really unmotivated last year when it came to writing wishlists (and blog posts in general, oops...) because well, 2020 was a shitshow; I found myself feeling gloomy for most of the year and not really wanting anything other than books and yummy snacks and gifts for sending in snailmail to my lovely friends across the globe. However, I am crossing my fingers and toes that twenty-twenty one is better! And thus, I'm trying to get back into my usual way of blogging, which includes finishing off each month by sharing a list of cute and fandom-related goodies from around the internet that I am currently lusting over :) Enjoy! 

1. Funko Tokidoki Sandy Pop! Vinyl If you've been a regular reader of my blog for a while, you will know that I am a big fan of the super cute Italian brand, Tokidoki. I have been collecting their vinyl figures for years now and I especially love their stationery, too. You may also be able to imagine how excited I was earlier this month when Funko announced that they have teamed up with Tokidoki to bring us four Pop! vinyl figures. As unicornos were the first tokidoki figures that kickstarted my love for the brand, there's just something about the look of the unicorno Pop! that I don't like, but I will be hopefully adding the other three to my collection! Vinyl toys are one of my most favourite things in the world, and this wishlist, as you can see, is pretty vinyl toy heavy! Sorry, not sorry :D 

2. Kawaii Cat Paw Pastel Switch Case Those of you who follow me over on my social media, particularly on instagram, more than likely know that for Christmas, my sister surprised me with Animal Crossing: New Horizons!! Eeeee! I am very late to the game, as I don't own a Nintendo Switch and definitely couldn't afford one last year with decorating my bedroom and whatnot, so I had to watch everyone playing during the release hype and it sucked T_T. Well, my sister only went and bought a switch, and she has been letting me play around on her island ever since, until I can get my own switch and play the game she got for me! I have recently been looking around for some accessories ready for when I can get a console of my own, and I came across this lovely pastel blue cat themed case. I need it in my life! 

3. PomPomPurin Kitten Plush Keychain This item almost didn't make it onto this month's wishlist because I actually wanted another similar item from Artbox, the larger PomPomPurin Kitten plushie. It's sold out though *cry cry*! I decided that the collection is too cute not to feature at all, and so wanted to show off the keychain version to you guys. My all-time favourite Sanrio characters are Kuromi and PomPomPurin, and I LOVE cats, making this PomPomPurin kitten mascot collection purrrrfect for me. I hope I can get my paws on that plushie some day! Do you guys have a favourite Sanrio character? 

4. Funko Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends Eduardo Pop! Vinyl Ever since I started my Funko Pop! collection back in 2015, I have been hoping that they would create a figure of Eduardo, and they finally have!! The reason why there is so many Funko figures in today's post is because there's been a release event throughout the month called the Funko Fair, and we are getting to learn about all of the upcoming products from the company. This means that the items I've chosen are only available for pre-order right now. Are there any that you guys are excited about? Anyhow, when I was a kid, I absolutely adored Eduardo from the Cartoon Network show Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends (2004-2009). He was such a sweetheart, an anxious wreck which I could very much relate to, and I just wanted to give him a big hug! (I loved Coco, too, and would constantly imitate her, haha! Let's hope they create a Pop! of Coco as well). He's gonna look so cute on display in my room :) 

5. A5 Gudetama Spinout Notebook The Sanrio character Gudetama has definitely grown on me! More so after learning about the backstory of this little egg character, and finding that it resonated with me. I'm still not 100% sold on his sad expression, but there's so much cute merch available for him that it's difficult not to like him! This notebook, for example, is lovely. I have to admit that the main reason I want this is because of the Japanese writing, so Gudetama is a bonus. I liked it even better than I read that it's made from recycled paper, which is cool and I am curious to discover what the quality is like. I've not purchased anything from Typo before. I want to change that in 2021! Do any of you like Typo? 

6. Funko His Dark Materials Lyra Pop! Vinyl Early last year, I watched the BBC series that was adapted from a book of the same name by Phillip Pullman, after I saw so many people recommending it. I'm glad I did because I loved it and immediately had a mighty need to acquire the book series. I am very much looking forward to reading them! At the moment, I'm around half way through the season 2 of the show, and it's just as great so far! I'm delighted that Funko have chosen to make merch :) Who else has read the books or watched the show? 

7. The Witcher Wild Hunt Yennefer Nendoroid My favourite watch of 2020 was by far Netflix's The Witcher. I thought it was brilliant!! I've never played the games and am yet to read the books that inspired them all, so I don't know how accurate the show was to the original storyline, but as a late birthday present to myself, I got the book set (thanks to my best friend's parents and the birthday money they very kindly gave me!). I showed it off over on my tiktok when it arrived! Yennefer was my favourite character, and I cannot wait to learn more about her. I have wanted to get a nendoroid figure for the longest time, and I am thinking that this one should be my first! 

8. AMUSE KuneKune Utsubo Moray Eel Plush This is another plushie where I had to opt for second best! Tofu Cute were selling the big eel plushies and they sold like hot cakes, as they saying goes. I really need one in my life!! But a mini one will have to do for now :) I am a collector of plushies from the Japanese brand, Amuse (I collect too many things, haha!), and I think it's so fabulous that they have made eels. It's so random! How could I not want one!? Tofu Cute's Instagram reels and tiktok videos with the eel plushies in haven't helped though!! 

9. PopMart Pucky Forest Fairies Blind Box I have had my eyes on PopMart's wonderful figure collections for ages and I thought it was about time that I looked for a seller in the UK! Earlier this month, I bought my first from Didi Inspired Gifts, and I have fallen in love with them!! They were from the PopMart X Momiji range, so now I want to venture into Pucky territory, starting with a super cute fantasy/nature collection. I blame my friend Estelle, who blogs over at Estellosaurus. Her latest Youtube video is an unboxing of Pucky and more, all of which she purchased from the website linked here. The packaging was so cute and I'm going to have to do a haul soon. It's all your fault, Estelle! 

So, there's my first kawaii & geeky wishlist of the year! I hope you all enjoyed reading, despite it being so full of vinyl figures! I am just a little obsessed with them, and it was a challenge not to include several on every wishlist I've ever written :D I'll be back with another wishlist at the end of February, but for now, I would love to hear what's on your wishlist this month! 

Thankyou for reading! 

Wishing you all a wonderful February! 

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Thursday, 7 January 2021

New Years Tag | Hello 2021

Hi lovelies! I hope the start of the year has been good for you all  (if not, sending you virtual hugs!). During the lead up to January, I was trying to think of a New Years themed post, because well, it's just the obligatory thing to post on a blog. However, I'm not a huge fan of goals or resolutions posts, at least for myself, anymore. I just find that they make me put a huge amount of pressure on myself to complete the tasks and then give my readers updates, and when it comes to my own mental health, it is not a great idea... so yeah, I searched my brain for something different I could share with you all. And I eventually thought why not create a tag? That way, those of you who feel the same as I do when it comes to sharing your goals for the year on the internet (or even making concentre goals at all) would still be able to chat about the start of a new year on your blog! I hope you guys enjoy reading my answers and please feel free to do the tag, but be sure to tag me so I can check your post :) Happy New Year Everyone!! 

Tags always include rules, right? So, here's mine: 

1) Copy the questions to your blog,

2) Link back to my original post, and also thank the person who tagged you (linking theirs, too),

3) Answer the questions, 

4) Add your own question (if you want to), 

5) Tag 4-6 friends to answer it,

6) Give yourself a pat on the back. You blogged!! You're awesome! 

A photo showing a little ornament of a maneki neko or lucky cat. It is sitting on silver tinsel.

And here are my answers. Enjoy! 

1) Let's start by looking back at 2020. What were three good things that happened to you?

If you follow me over on instagram, then you'll more than likely know that last year, my sister & I welcomed our niece into our home. She cannot live with her parents, for reasons that I would never disclose on the internet, so she's living with us permanently; although, technically with my sister, but we live together at the moment so yeah, we have a very curious and energetic two year old in our lives now! She's honestly brought so much joy back into our home, which hadn't felt the same ever since our mom passed away. Now, the house is filled with laughter and constant adorableness. So of course, Fifi is the best thing that happened for me in 2020 :)  

Also, throughout the year, my amazing friends seriously spoilt me with all of the gifts and letters and packages they sent to me!! It was so very kind of them and I am ever so grateful! I feel very loved :') And good thing no.3 has to be Animal Crossing coming into my life at Christmas Time!! Eeee! I'm already obsessed, and it was even a struggle to pry myself off the game this evening to write this post, haha! 

2) What was a positive to come out of spending all that time at home?

To be honest, living the chronic illness life means that I spend the majority of my existence at home anyway. Alongside that, I've always been a hermit who prefers my own company, tucked away indoors with a good book or show/movie to get lost in. So, 2020 wasn't a massive change for me when it came to lockdown. The only struggles I've had is not being able to see my best friends (and the challenge of trying to get a grocery delivery slot, and in the end being forced to venture to the supermarket, even though I have asthma and a crappy immune system... ugh). 

Negativity aside, something that happened due to being at home and seeing so many people decorating whilst browsing online is that it gave me the kick up the butt that I needed to finally decorate my own room! I'd been delaying it for years because of life problems, so it feels awesome to have my new furniture assembled, wallpaper up and I'm a few steps away from finishing converting the built-in cupboard into my wardrobe! Hooray!! 

3) Did you start any new hobbies in 2020? Discover any new interests?

My answer to this question is a boring one, because I didn't begin any new hobbies! I already have too many hobbies and interests than I can handle as it is XD I fixate on one of them for a while, and then end up moving onto something else, but I will continue to partake in them all. I guess, I did end up colouring a lot more than usual, and that's mostly down to the fact that my friends bought me so many lovely colouring books from my amazon wishlist. Love you guys! 

A photo showing a plushie of a traditional japanese new year mascot. it is red and yellow, and is sitting on silver tinsel.

4) What was your best watch and/or read of 2020?

The best read for me was The NeverEnding Story by Michael Ende. I absolutely adored it! It was really enthralling and a wonderful journey to go on with the characters :) I haven't seen the movie since I was too young to remember, so it was a lovely surprise! I've been putting off re-watching the movie until I read the book, so I need to do that soon. It's actually one of my best reads ever! 

As for movies, that's a tough one. I watched 56 movies in 2020 (I keep a list... nerdy, I know!), and there were many that I enjoyed a lot. I finally watched Wreck It Ralph (2012) and Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018) with my sister for her birthday back in April, and they were epic!! I regret not watching them sooner! The sequel was my favourite of the two. How about you? I also wanted a movie called Hippotamus (2017) that had a very interesting storyline.  Oh, The Nightingale (2018) was another good watch, and Netflix's Enola Holmes (2020). When it comes to TV shows, The Witcher was the highlight of my year. I watched it three times, and bought all of the books to read this year! It's amazing!! I also watched the adaptation of His Dark Materials and loved that (I've purchased the books now, too). Netflix's Cursed was awesome, as well. I've heard that it's been cancelled... I hope not! I finally watched the two part adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time from 2004, and it was fantastic! I need to add the book to my TBR list... 

5) Name five things or people that helped get you through the gloomy times?

- Music (and doing a lot of theatrical singalongs... my poor neighbours :D),

- YouTube (I watched way more YT than shows or movies in 2020. I practically live on YT!),

- Nature (my garden has always been my happy place, but even more so this year!),

- The internet!

- Writing (it's been a big help to focus my thoughts on a fantasy realm VS real life, haha),

And when it comes to people, my sister and my niece has been a massive help! As well as one of my closest online friends, Stina, who has become a best friend of mine through 2020; we have grown so close through talking almost everyday, and I don't know what I'd have done without her :) All of my online, and fellow blogger, friends had a huge impact on my life last year and I cannot thank them enough! I have the most fabulous friends!! 

6) Okay, phew! We can forget last year now!! Share something you want to achieve this year.

I want to read more. I said that at the beginning of 2020, yet for some reason, I just couldn't do it. My mental health wasn't great because of all that was going on in the world, and then I was super busy preparing for the arrival of my niece and then adjusting to all of the changes to my life. So yeah, I need to read all of the books that I kept on buying last year and not reading... oops. I also want to, of course, complete my room decorating, and I want give more attention to writing my novel. 

7) Tell us three things you're looking forward to.

I am always looking forward to the joys that nature will bring into my life every year, the changing of the seasons and what delights will come with them. All of the wildlife encounters I might have, and the shots that I may manage to get on my camera. It's so exciting to me because I'm a massive nature geek :D

That, and Animal Crossing!! Getting a switch of my own (because right now, I'm playing on my sisters) and all of the games I'll be able to play. It has been a while since I've been able to game, and I cannot wait to play more!! 

8) Other than our current global situation, what's one thing in your life that you'd like to change in 2021? 

Umm, the only aspects of my life that I would like to improve upon this year that I can think of right now, are my German language skills and my confidence. I have been learning German for a while now, and I haven't got as far as I would have liked to, thus I need to up my game and practice every single day! And even though I have come a long lonnnnnng way with my self-love, there's still a lot that I need to work on :) Maybe 2021 will be my year!

A photo of a maneki neko or japanese/chinese lucky cat ornament, sitting on silver tinsel.

The Questions:

1. Let's start by looking back at 2020. What were three good things that happened to you?

2. What was a positive to come out of spending all that time at home? 

3. Did you start any new hobbies in 2020? Discover any new interests? 

4. What was your best watch and/or read of 2020?

5. Name five things or people that helped get you through the gloomy times?

6. Okay, phew! We can forget last year now!! Share something you want to achieve this year.

7. Tell us three things you're looking forward to.

8. Other than our current global situation, what's one thing in your life that you'd like to change in 2021? 

I tag: 

Jess from Little Piink Duck

Natalee from There Might Be Coffee

Estelle from Estellosaurus 

Kim from Chimmyville

Cate from Cateaclysmic

and Eleanor from MxrshmallowQueen 

Well, it was quite cathartic to look back on 2020 in a positive light :D I hope reading my post helped you guys feel better about that shitshow! And that it's gotten you feeling at least a little optimistic about the next twelve months :) Here's to a year full of fun moments, lots of happy mail, yummy food, good movies and vaccinations! Yay!! 

Thankyou for reading! 

One final question for today, what new releases are you excited for in 2021? 

movies, games, shows, products... whatever it is, tell me :)

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Tuesday, 5 January 2021

Dinojar Ghibli Friends Kickstarter Goodies

Hey everyone! Happy New Year!! Thank goodness 2020 has been and gone... it feels great to say goodbye to those dreadful days. I know the start of this year at least won't be very different, but I'm trying to embrace the whole 'new year, new leaf' thing, and after a year of getting used to the changes, I feel more prepared for deal with this new normal. Fingers crossed I can be more productive because of that, starting with my blog! Anyhow, gloom and new leaves aside, for today's post, I'm serving you a dose of cuteness  Calling all Studio Ghibli fans, especially! I hope you guys enjoy reading :) 

A photo of a business card for Dinojar Studios. The background is white and peach in colour and there is a little green dinosaur sitting in a jar

So, back in April 2020, towards the end of the month, I backed a kickstarter project that I was super excited about!! Dinojar/Dinojar Studio, a lovely artist based in Singapore, had set up the most adorable project dedicated to Studio Ghibli characters, focusing on pins, but also offering stickers, too. As soon as I set eyes on the designs over on Dinojar's instagram (be sure to go give them a follow), I had a mighty need to add some of the pin badges to my ever-growing collection! However, the struggle was real when it came to choosing which pins I wanted most!! I limited myself to two enamel pins, and after a few days of deliberation, I finally had my favourites settled on. I cannot wait to show them to you guys!! Although, if you follow me over on instagram then you'll have likely already seen the gorgeous items I received (because they arrived a few months ago now and life has just gotten in the way of me blogging about them, oops...). 

A photo showing a business card for Dinojar Studios, plus a thankyou note for backing their kickstarter project

How sweet is this thankyou note! I love when artists/businesses do this :) 

Before I show off the super cute 'rewards' I got, a little more about the kickstarter project. If you've never heard of/used this website before, it's basically set up so that small businesses and independent artists can create products via crowd funding. They will set a goal of how much money they need in order to make the product(s) they are proposing and people can pledge to contribute to the project. If the artist doesn't manage to reach their monetary goal, then the project backers will be refunded. But if they do gain the support they need, then they can make the products, and everyone is happy! Kickstarter is a wonderful idea and it feels great to support small businesses that little bit more than if you were just pursuing something from their online store :) Many artists also offer special reward tiers that will be unlocked once they pass their initial contribution goal, and what's more? Most kickstarter projects come with a promise of a freebie for backers, which is so lovely!

The Ghibli Friends Enamel Pins kickstarter project launched by Dinojar Studio offered twelve potential characters, and as more of the goal was reached, each of these designs was unlocked. Here's a list of the Studio Ghibli characters included: Totoro, Haku in his human form, Chihiro, Pazu, Kiki & Jiji, a Soot Sprite, Mei, the Catbus, No Face, Dragon Haku, Chibi-Totoro with a little acorn in hand, and Sheeta. Honestly, each and every design was stunning and so sweet and I wanted them all T_T. I unfortunately have a budget to stick to, so in the end I opted for Mei and Dragon Haku. The latter pin I knew I would be backing for as soon as I saw the design on Dinojar's instagram. I love dragons so much and the spirit of the Kohaku river is one of my favourites!! So let's see these cuties... 

A photo showing enamel pins of two Studio Ghibli characters: Dragon Haku and Mei, plus a sticker of Haku. They are surrounded by colourful polkadots

I am not sorry for the cuteness overload, haha! JUST LOOK HOW ADORABLE EVERYTHING IS!!!! *squeals*. My heart is happy everytime I look at my rewards from the Dinojar kickstarter. How could it not be?! Awww! As you can see above, I also decided to get a sticker, too, because I was torn between whether I wanted Dragon Haku and Haku in his human form more. I am yet to add a pin to my collection of Haku as a human, so I really wanted to, but everyone's favourite dragon boi won in the end... I mean, just look at him!! And Mei was just too cheerful not to get, but again, it was a tough decision between the Kiki & Jiji pin and this one :) It's all Dinojar's fault for designing too many brilliant pins!! :O 

Since it's been a while now, I can't remember prices exactly, but I'm pretty sure the pins were $14 (Singapore dollars) which works out at just under £8 each. What a fantastic price!! And I think stickers were $1! Wow... I was so impressed by the pricing for such adorable and intricate designs, so a big thankyou to Dinojar for being so awesome!!

A photo of an enamel pin, the character is dragon haku from the Studio Ghibli movie, Spirited Away. He is white, purple and mint in colour and has a cute solemn expression.

I fell in love with this little dragon baby as soon as I saw him! This is such a precious interpretation of Haku/Kohaku and I adore it! I really love the mint shade that has been chosen for his mane and tail fur; it's really pretty! I am a big fan of the overall pastel colour scheme of this pin, and think it's fantastic that his horns and whiskers stand out so much. Those whiskers though!! They might be my favourite feature of the entire pin. The depictions of dragons in Asian folklore is so unique and different to European folklore, and the whiskers as well as the snake-like appearance are something I think is beautiful! So, I very much appreciate the attention to detail that has gone in to making the whiskers look so eye-catching. At a very close second, in terms of favourite things, comes Haku's facial expression. It's so solemn and it looks like he's in deep contemplation/ is lost in thought, and I don't know, I can just relate it to a lot. Little solemn and/or moody faces are just too cute!! Wouldn't you all agree? I want to mention just how fluffy Haku looks!! I want to cuddle him! Also, those rosy cheeks go so well with the gold-plating. 

A photo showing two enamel pins of Studio Ghibli characters; Mei from My Neighbour Totoro and Dragon Haku from Spirited Away. Both are made by Dinojar Studio, and are very cute!

Guys, how sweet is this pin of Mei!? If you're not a Studio Ghibli fan... firstly, get off my blog. I'm only kidding; it's practically impossible to not be a fan of the creations of this amazing Japanese production company!! But if you have yet to enrich your lives by watching the movies, Mei is a character from My Neighbour Totoro (1988) and Dragon Haku is from Spirited Away (2001). I barely ever see any merch of Mei, and so I just couldn't pass up on backing this design. I really love how delighted Mei looks! She's going on a little adventure and has that expression of childish wonder and carelessness. It makes me think of my childhood when I was very young (Mei is supposed to be five, I believe but don't quote me on that) and my little adventures about the garden, collecting cool things I found and looking for bugs. Whenever I look at the pin, it puts a smile on my face, and furthermore, I picture the scene from the movie that inspired this design. It's so very cute! 

I love the contrast between the colours of the Dragon Haku pin and the Mei one. Her outfit and overlook look is bright, with vibrant, strong colours. Very summery and happy, and I especially like Mei's tiny yellow shoes and bag. One of the most precious features, in my opinion, is that Mei is swinging her bucket and water is spilling, because again, this just highlights the careless, free nature of children without a care in the world, whilst they are at play. She's skipping along, and probably hasn't even released that Chibi-Totoro is perched on top of her head. It's the sweetest image! 

A photo showing a sticker of a Studio Ghibli character, Haku. Designed by Dinojar. Haku is with his two little friends, a tiny chubby mouse and black bird.

Here's a close up of the Haku sticker I also backed. I've already popped this little cutie onto my laptop and he looks perfect, standing out so well due to the bold blue shade of his hair mostly! It's one of the best things about this design for me, as blue is up there in my top five favourite colours. How can a design be beautifully simplistic and somehow detailed at the same time!? Dinojar achieved that with their human Haku design, though! I absolutely adore that Boh (the chubby mouse) and smol version of Yubaba's bird have been incorporated into the design! Haku's got buddies with him and I love seeing these two characters in this form because it reminds me of when they didn't want to change back in the movie (sorry for the slight spoiler there!). 

The tiny smile on Haku's face just completes the whole design, and makes me audibly 'awwww!' every time I see it on my laptop. I don't know if it was a freebie, or I accidently ordered two stickers of the same design, or Dinojar didn't notice they'd packaged two by mistake, but either way, I was sent two of these lovely stickers so I will definitely be giving one away in the future :) 

A photo showing two enamel pins by Dinojar. They are of the Studio Ghibli characters, Mei and Dragon Haku. They are backed on gold enamel and are super cute!

The backing cards used to display the pins are super pretty. I'm lovin' the green ombre effect, and the dotting of little sparkles looks lovely. I almost wanted to keep them on their cards forever, but they are too stunning not to show off! So, alas, they are now in my ita bag :') Look how shiny the gold-plated enamel is!! I used to prefer silver-plating but gold makes everything glow and just highlights the colours so well. It draws your eyes into the design, and I think that's wonderful for when you out and about to get people to really notice your pins. Both of these pins are double-backed as well, so you don't have to worry that they might fall off your clothing/bags/whatever you pin them onto. Anyway, guys, I'd love to know which is your favourite of the two pins I purchased?

A final note that I'd like to make is that Dinojar launched a second Ghibli Friends kickstarter last year, featuring more adorable character designs and I so wish that I had the money free at the time to back another of their projects. I will certainly be trying to get my hands on some of those pins in the future, via Dinojar's Etsy shop. Most recently, Dinojar hosted another campaign for Avatar pins, so if that's something you're into, definitely go have a look at their instagram account to see the designs! 

I want to give a huge thankyou to Dinojar for creating such beautiful pins, and for always being so lovely on instagram. I am very happy to have some of your work in my enamel pin collection, and I am looking forward to your next projects! I hope you all enjoyed reading my first post of 2021!! Wishing you a marvellous year, guys, with good health and happy moments for you and your loved ones :) 

Thankyou for reading!

What is your favourite Studio Ghibli movie and/or character?

Are you a fellow collector of pins?
Or not, do you collect anything else? 

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