A Christmas Trip to Tokyo Disney Sea

I know it’s a little bit late to be posting about Christmas, approximately two months late, but I have Tokyo Disney Sea photos to share!

One of the things we really wanted to do during our holiday was go to Tokyo Disney Sea while the Christmas decorations were up. We went on the 21st and it was beautiful! It was also Disney Sea’s 15 anniversary, which was crystal themed, so there was beautiful crystals everywhere.

First Views of Tokyo Disney Sea

The ship and globe at the park entrance of tokyo disney sea

Inside the special mickey monorail at tokyo disney sea

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Where in the World is Nadina O?

Now that I’ve transferred all my posts over I can start giving you all fresh content again! At some point, I’m going to have to do the boring job of fixing all the pictures, but it’s been too long since we had an update so let’s have one.

The past couple of months have been exceptionally busy; I’ve been traveling a lot with work, everyone I know has had loads of drama, I’ve had 10,000 things to do in general so not much posting has been happening. I’m really sorry about that. This blog is usually something I do to chill out but I haven’t had the energy at all lately. Anyway.

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Tweekend Trip to Haworth at Christmastime

Over the weekend I had the pleasure of hanging out with some lolita friends from all over the place in Leeds. We went on a day trip to Haworth because it is actually the cutest place in existence. The setting was so beautiful and the people were really friendly too; we got lost, so the Vicar gave us directions and wished us a lovely day! You don’t get that in many places.


The highlight of the trip, apart from spending time with some really good friends, was seeing the Rose & Co. Apothecary. The snow fairy above was part of the Christmas window display, she was so ethereal and beautiful so she really stood out from the rest of the scene.

The whole shop was really true to the original building, with wooden windows an a hand-painted frontage and sign outside. The inside was also decorated in the traditional style of an apothecary with large wooden shelves and many drawers of various potions and tinctures.

A quick google later it turns out Zam-Buk is a herbal balm and ointment originally made in Leeds. Apparently “the ointment was advertised as being effective against a wide range of conditions, including cuts, bruises, sprains, freckles, ulcers, bleeding piles and even colds and toothache.” I love old timey cure-alls like this and I’m always kind of tempted to give them a go too. Lots of people say “oh the old way is better for this or that” and I think a lot of things we do now are probably based on old home remedies with a bit of science mixed in. The components of Zam-Buk are meant to be eucalyptus oil, camhor, thyme oil and sassafrass oil; all natural oils, I’m down for that!

I really liked their selection of hand made and local products and the care that was taken with labels and with the products themselves. I really wanted to buy something from the shop, so I ended up getting two jars of local strawberry jam as souvenirs because I don’t really like to buy people soaps or perfumed items if I’m not sure what kind of smells they like for their skincare.

My English auntie and uncle collect tin signs and hand painted signs similar to the ones in store, so that was a really nice homely moment for me.
We had lunch in the café behind the apothecary, and I think that was the actual name of it too. I had a really lovely warming tomato soup and some chips, as well as a few glasses of lemonade. I think lemonade is a really lolita thing to drink for some reason? Especially rose lemonade, because roses.
I’d really love to go to Haworth again and visit the local Bronte based attractions. I’ll admit, I’ve never really been a classic literature fan but I do like the romanticism of classic writers so I would love to learn about how Charlotte Bronte lived. I’d also really like to ride on the steam train because I’ve never done that before.

I was really happy to see that one of the bookshops had a comic about the Bronte sisters by the amazing Kate Beaton in their window! I was also really happy to see a local business that was “& Daughters” because usually you only see “& Sons.” You see it in family names too, there are plenty of Johnsons but no Johnsdaughters…. Either way, you rule feminist Hatchard! Your blue bookshop is adorable.

Carousel Nostalgia

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I’ve been so overwhelmed by life lately, and my brain is so fried from seasonal work, that I haven’t been able to thread two thoughts together despite having plenty of things to write about. However, lolita has really been keeping me sane. I’ve never professed to actually be good at lolita fashion or really to do anything amazing with it; but the idea of putting items together in some sort of theme, going and hunting down the items and then putting them together is really satisfying. Naturally, much like in this photo, half of it is blown to disarray by the wind, but at some point in the day this outfit was some immensely elegant lolita granny chic. I’m really inspired by mossmarchen  and I wanted to create a nice array of brooches to emulate her style, but sadly two of the brooches broke immediately.

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You might remember this outfit from September where I wore it to Regalia in London. For that outfit I wanted to go for a more “lady of the manor” vibe, but this time I changed the blouse, hat and accessories for a vintage/granny mood instead. I really like how changing up a few items really changes the entire mood of the outfit. Would anyone be interested if I wrote some kind of co-ordinate tutorial for making flexible outfits like this?

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I really needed a break and I love my local community, so the perfect solution for stress was a meet to visit the Manchester Christmas markets. We had a lot of new members and it was another big meet for us, so I was elated! A few girls felt that they didn’t have finished co-ordinates so they were very shy about coming to their first meets so nearly dropped out, but I think this should not be an issue. As an admin for my community, I feel like it’s my duty to make everyone feel welcome on their first meet up and encourage them to enjoy the fashion, so I don’t mind at all if people don’t turn up in a full co-ordinate while they still get to learn the ropes of the fashion. It was so lovely to meet people for the first time; it makes me feel like I’m doing a good job with the community when lots of people come to meets, and even more so when they come back again!

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I loved the different styles that were visible at this meet. We had classic, gothic, old school, mori, sweet and even more otome style outfits. I even started a furry wrist cuff trend! I’ve never felt cooler or more like Regina George in my life than when half my comm loved my furry wrist cuffs enough to bag their own. We had such an eventful day of enjoying the markets, walking around Manchester and even riding the carousel! I wont lie to you, dear reader, I went back later in the week and rode the carousel again. Turns out, I just love the whimsy and nostalgia a little bit too much.

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For example, I MADE someone take this photo of me elegantly riding side saddle on my lovely horse Spice because I was really giddy about riding the carousel. I spent the whole time grinning like an idiot because I had such fond memories of riding on carousels as a child. I live quite close to Southport and we used to visit a lot when I was a child so I’ve ridden the huge carousel there many times and every time I hear the music it just makes my heart happy. It really is the simple things in life.

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The markets were so busy that I didn’t have a lot of time to really take good photos, but I did manage to get this beautiful portrait of Mo with the back light of the carousel. I think it might be one of my favourite pictures I’ve taken to this day. I was so charmed by her outfit that I just had to get some kind of photo of her, because she was an absolute vision of Momoko from Kamikaze girls. 
Lastly, a shout out to Wagamama’s in Manchester Printworks for being really great with our large party size and having really good accessibility for wheelchairs and an absolute SLAM to Prezzo and Harvester for the exact opposite reasons.

My top 5 places to hang out in Manchester

I’ve been writing a few of these posts lately just because I’ve been travelling around a bit more and it’d been nice to go to all of my favourite haunts. I had no intentions of becoming any kind of travel writer but I guess this is a case of “write what you know.” I love Manchester’s Northern Quarter, so here’s some places you might have walked past before now, but you should totally pop into next time!


1. Bon Bon Chocolate Boutique, John Street

 Once you step into this place you’ll fall in love, I guarantee it. The smell of chocolate just makes you relax and smile immediately. It seats about 10 people and always has this lovely relaxed atmosphere, you will never feel rushed to leave. The decor is absolutely lovely, everything about this place makes me feel like I’m Amelie Poulain every time I walk in. Even the other people that go could be characters in Amelie. Have a piece of their flourless chocolate cake with a bottle of fentimans or go chocolate overdose with their own dairy free hot chocolate. Chocolate heaven.

2. Junk Shop, Dale Street

I love adorable vintage shops and this one tops my list for adorable-ness. The door handle is an old telephone, so that should give you a hint of the vibe this place has. Their selection is really cute and a lot of it is upcycled for a more modern fit. They also do sewing classes so if you’re in Manchester rather than visiting it’s a pretty cool place to be!

3. Salford Zine Library at Nexus Art Cafe, Dale Street

Zines are a thing again you know! My favourite zine/small press publication is a beautiful piece of work called “Butt Springstreen” dedicated to Bruce Springsteen’s butt. I feel like the author of this, zine, CJ Reay, and I truly connect on a spiritual level. Butts aside, Nexus art cafe is a lovely place to hang out but if you walk through it you’ll get to Salford Zine library. Sit down, chill out and pick up one of hundreds of those homespun beauties. They’re not long to read, the room is peaceful and it’s nice to take a moment away from the bustling city and just get absorbed in reading for a while.

4. Travelling Man Comics, Dale Street

So Junk Shop, Nexus and Travelling Man are actually all next door to each other which makes them seem less like hidden gems and more like a fairly obvious goldmine. We’ve discussed before that I am a big nerd and love hanging out in comic book shops and this place is one of my favourites. Reason number one that it’s my favourite is because this is where I spotted copies of Butt Springsteen available to buy and reason number 2 is that it’s a lovely, welcoming place to be. I’ve had great conversations with shop staff where I didn’t feel like my nerd credentials were being questioned and they were genuinely helpful, interesting, lovely people. Oddly enough, that’s rare. They also keep a good stuck of Pusheen plushies and nobody could ever say that was a bad thing.

5. Fred Aldous, Lever Street

This is not just a really cool three floor art and crafts shop, of which one floor is just different kinds of paper. JUST PAPER! No, no, I also got asked to take an outfit picture there one time by a local blogger. YAS. Seriously though, anything you are into making, they will have the equipment to make it. I’ve been very tempted by resin kits, candle making, handbag supplies, leather working material, ceramic paints, crochet needles…. There is not enough time in the world for all of the hobbies I potentially could take up by just being in Fred Aldous for too long. They also have a lasercutting lab and a photography studio downstairs! It’s basically a really good hub for a creativity and you will totally find 94824013 new hobbies just by being there.

Other honourable mentions: Home Sweet Home, Oklahoma and the strange little General Store on Edge Street that has all of their stock beautifully arranged in a Wes Anderson fashion.

Apologies for the lack of posts lately, I’ve been viciously applying for jobs!! No luck so far…

My top 5 places to hang out in London

I loved living in London. Even though I was a broke student doing a masters degree and working a job with rubbish hours that barely covered my rent, I adored waking up on my free days and getting out into the city. I didn’t have a lot of money, but I did have a student oyster card which made my travel super cheap! Here’s a list of 5 places in the city centre that I loved to hang out.

1. Gosh! Comics on Berwick Street

I was working at Harvey Nichols when I was told about Gosh! Comics. It was described to me as a comic book shop that felt “more grown up.” Having been there a few times, I can attest to that grown up is a good description of this store. It’s not that it feels serious, it’s more that it feels homely. You can sit quietly on their benches and lead through something without being disturbed. You don’t have to stand up, you can take your time and enjoy the atmosphere of the place. They have a great selection of interesting reads for adults and children too. It’s just a super nice place to be at. I also really like their wall of small press comics and zines.

2. Orbital Comics on Great Newport Street



Can you tell I like hanging out in comic book shops? Hop off at Leicester Square and you’re basically there. Orbital is apparently kind of easy to miss, which I learnt during a conversation with two Londoners who had never heard of it. Orbital gets special snaps for being the only comic book shop I’ve ever walked into where they’ve had two women on the till at one time and never made a big deal of it. Their social media isn’t like “oooh look at all our female staff wooo!! They’re just doing it right. They also have a small gallery space which hosts different art shows.

Orbital was the place where I learned that if you just jump into other peoples conversations when you’re on your own they will stare at you. Don’t interrupt a conversation between a small, nerdy guy and a member of staff like “omg are you talking about fallout 3?? I love that game!! So much fun!” The small guy will stare at you. He will not be happy about the interruption. He is not there to make friends. Oops.

3. Arigato Japanese Supermarket on Brewer Street

Don’t get me wrong, I love Japan Centre. If I’m in the city centre I will always drop into Japan Centre to get fresh takoyaki (even though I’m not supposed to eat it) and hoard as much melon soda as I possibly can. However, you just have to love a cute, family run place like Arigato. It’s important to support little mom-and-pop shops too! The supermarket section has everything you would need for someone interested in Japanese cooking and a few fun treats for people who love Japanese flavours. I am a big fan of yuzu sake and black sesame ice cream. They also make sushi bento fresh in store and you can sit in their small dining area to eat it. The staff are lovely and the food is so reasonably priced and good that I go back there time and time again.

4. Dover Street Market on Dover Street, Mayfair

I am two kinds of nerd. I am a traditional manga loving basement dweller and an atrocious theatrics loving fashion nerd. Dover Street Market caters to that second type of nerd. Dover Street Market is far too cool and yet somehow they are not unwelcoming at all. I had a great conversation about Louis Vuitton collaboration bags with a member of staff there who was super friendly and down to earth. There is also a café up on the very top floor where you can hang out and read lots of lovely thick, interesting magazines. I like that a lot of different kinds of people hang out there. There were a pair of business people discussing their latest venture, an old lady in a shawl having a salad, a pair of instagram obsessed rich girls and a small group of quiet artists and musicians last time I went. All four floors are interesting and have a kind of different theme to them, it’s just a really fun place to walk around. At the time I was stunned that they had a bracelet that cost about the same amount as my masters degree.

5. The Photographers Gallery, Ramillies Street 



I bought my camera just over a year ago and I would like to think that I’ve improved a lot in that time. This week I just got a brand new lens for my birthday so I hope to keep improving. I was initially kind of scared to take up photography as a hobby because I’d heard so many people talk derogatively about “quirky girls who like Florence and the Machine and wear dresses with owls on and like photography” but then I remembered fuck those people and that I can do whatever I like. If you’re in the city centre, right on Oxford street, and want to go somewhere quiet away from the madding crowd then turn off towards Soho and go this gallery. Inspiration aplenty, really cool exhibitions, lovely atmosphere and right in the middle of London too. When you’re done and your mind is fed with one of their “describe what you see” cards you can either go back to the rushing river that is Oxford street or keep going on to Rockit vintage. Up to you.