Tuesday, August 30, 2011

rolling in fluff and florals on a day off.

I don't have classes on tuesdays, and I couldn't be more bored. Usually I like days off, but I've had so many days off already that I wouldn't have minded-or rather, would rather be in class today. All the trips that I was looking forward to over the weekend were cancelled because of hurricane Irene. All the campus buildings minus cafeteria and dorm halls were closed, and school on Monday was cancelled. I was bored out of my mind.
Because of that, I haven't been up to much lately; watched the VMAs as I do every year, drew a bit, and lived off of snacks an instant food. And then watched Adventure Time with some cool kids who also wanted to watch at the lounge yesterday. I really don't have much to do, so I've been tidying up my workspace and my side of the dorm. Currently obsessing over the color pink. I went to the hardware store yesterday to look at pink paint. And I've also been looking for pink decor. Pink! I need more pink! I've saved up enough for those pink Doc Martens I wanted, but I have to go make a deposit at the ATM and I'm too scared to walk off campus to the ATM to make that deposit. I need friends.

Kinda just prancing around my room in my favorite petticoat today. It's really fluffy on the bottom and makes it hard for me to sit down.

dress from H&M, petticoat from flea market, frill top from Tokyo Fashion Co in Taiwan, slippers from Taiwan.
I wrote a list of places that I want to go to, and it's been over a week that I've been here, and I've gone to none of them. It really does feel different when I don't have my parents around to ask them to drive me to places. A while back, I went to Target, and it took three hours to get there, shop, and then get back. Mainly because we got lost a few times on the way to and from, and the lines were insanely long because everyone was preparing for hurricane.

I drew this on one of those hurricane-you-can't-go-out-or-do-anything days. I don't post art on this blog much anymore because I have my tumblr for that now. But I really like this one and it's a photograph so.
Makes me feel like I should paint more so I can get better, but painting is such a headache. Takes forever and results vary.

Tomorrow is my first day of class! I have three classes tomorrow, from 9:30-6:20. Sounds like a long day. Though it looks pretty similar to my Monday schedule. Thursday and Friday have less classes.

Hope I'm prepared...

Love, Kaia

Thursday, August 25, 2011

you would think that my lack of a y chromosome would make me more girl.

But unfortunately my hair length still plays a big role on first impressions. I especially wore a dress to my first day of school so at least I wouldn't be thought to be a boy on my first day on campus.
Which reminds me, my hair is growing into my field of vision. Still deciding if I want to go somewhere to get my bangs trimmed or if I want to do it myself. Lack of outfit posts recently, I know. The first few days I've been trying to take outfit posts with my DSLR but it's so loud when it takes pictures. Really awkwardly loud. So I went back to using my point and shoots.

Tee, jeans, and scarf from Taiwan, plaid shirt from Goodwill, shoes from Salvation Army.
These jeans usually feel tighter. I think I lost weight from the last couple days. I got lost and couldn't get back to campus myself so I followed other people and spent the whole day outside. I'm sort of frugal when it comes to food. Though yesterday night I spent ten bucks on pizza at Grimaldi's. The line must have been at least an hour and a half. Maybe two. The pizza was good; it tastes like they use higher quality ingredients, but I'd rather go for grab and go pizza.

These rainboots are pretty frickin uncomfortable. I'm usually a size 7.5, and these are size 6 shoes and they're still a size too big. It's dinnertime now so I'm going to go down now. Though I don't think there's free dinner tonight; just coupons. I miss free lunch and dinners.

Love, Kaia

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

thrifting as a college student is even more exciting than thrifting as a high schooler.

I settled into my college dorm on Saturday, and now it's already Wednesday. I'm so tired today, I don't even know where to begin. And school hasn't even started yet!
The past few days have been nonstop orientation. There's something to do at all times. One of the things I was stressing out the most before arriving was what and how much to bring.
Especially clothes wise. In total, I brought four tees, four shirts, two spring dresses, a sweater, six outerwears, a vest, three camisoles, three skirts, two pairs of leggings, two pairs of jeans, six pairs of shorts, five scarves, and two pairs of shoes. I thought that was a lot. I thought I was overpacking. But most of the things need to have something underneath or be layered, so it's only enough for about a week or a week and a half.
A few thing I wish I had after I got here were flip flops and a pair of rainboots. Also, I got these Converse in 8th grade, so they're peeling pretty badly on the inside now.

So!!! Today I went on my first thrifting trip in New York. I looked up the closest Salvation Army to my school and just went to that one. Luckily there's one close enough to walk to. I found it on Yelp, and it was supposed to have this pretty unwelcoming sign that's spray painted "STORE." If I didn't know what it was, I'd be pretty freaked out.
This picture is from yelp. The picture I took came out blurry. I was surprised at how much bigger the store is compared to the one I have back home. My hometown one is about the size of a really big living room. This one was the size of a really big Goodwill. Maybe that's what a real Salvation Army is supposed to look like. I wouldn't know because the ones I go to are all so small.
It's a lot of fun to shop as a college kid because I freak out about the prices. Like. THIS IS ON SALE! I'VE BEEN LOOKING FOR SOMETHING LIKE THAT! And so on. $10 total for everything! I wanted rainboots, and found these rain sneakers at the store today. They were on sale for $4. Not bad, considering I was looking into $30-$70 rainboots. I also got a plate, bowl, spoon, and shelf.

Successful trip overall. I didn't look at clothes at all so that I could concentrate on things I needed. I need to go put my clothes away now.

Love, Kaia

Friday, August 19, 2011

girls in the old days who had to wear corsets must have had it hard.

I was cleaning out my room today and doing some last minute packing and came across this dress I bought a few months ago. That dress that I was never in my life going to ever be able to fit in. Well. I tried it on today and it fit.
I think I just really suck at zipping up zippers and I was probably too scared to zip it up all the way in case of breaking it. It's just. Really. Tight. Can't. Breath. This must be what corsets feel like. I've never felt so fat and skinny at the same time.
Gunne Sax dress from Goodwill, petticoat from Malco Mode, headdress and necklace from Forever21, shoes from Salvation Army.

The dress is a vintage size 7. I'm trying to look for a sizing conversion chart, but it's not going that well for me. I think my keywords are wrong. It feels kind of like a size 1/3. Not my size.

I'm at the airport...still waiting for my plane, which has been delayed due to thunderstorms and the like. Looks like...a little more than three hours. My battery's not going to last that long.

Hopefully it'll be a safe flight.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

shoe craving.

Yesterday I was planning on going to sleep early, but a shoe caught my eye and I ended up spending hours and hours looking at shoes. I came across Asami's blog, and couldn't stop looking at all of her shoes. Originally, I was going to spend my graduation money on a pair of shoes for college, but ended up pooling it in for a digital SLR camera. So if I get new shoes now, it would be a splurge.

Here's my compiled August wishlist. I'm using pictures instead of my usual drawings because I've been drawing and posting a lot on my main tumblr recently.
I want pastel shoes!! I find that I'm sort of a matchy matchy kind of person and so I tend to buy shoes in black, white, or brown so that I'd be able to wear them with anything. So I never have a chance to buy cool colored shoes. Pink and mint are my two favorite colors.

Lately while doing college packing, I found out that I don't really have that many pairs of comfortable shoes that fit. Besides my Doc Martens, nearly all my shoes are too big or too small. Most of them have been around since middle school. So I'm searching around for nice sneakers for everyday wear.
I want to get all-around (including the sole) pastel pink Nike dunks, but it's kind of a reach if they're not making them. I shopped this pair so that I could kind of get a feel for it.

I need to stop looking at shoes until I have the money for them. Either that or Forever21 needs to stock some new ones that I like.

Love, Kai

Thursday, August 11, 2011

a kaiami guide to shopping in taipei.

Here's to you, anon. This is in no way an ultimate Taipei shopping guide. Just some shopping places that I like and/or suggest. I'd been meaning to make one of these, but I didn't take many pictures in Taiwan because I often forgot my camera at home. Instead I'm using and crediting pictures. In Taipei city, the underground metro is really convenient. It's also pretty foreigner friendly, since translations are available everywhere.


SOGO: located in Zhongxiao Fuxing station (blue line).
photo from
There are several Sogo department stores in Taipei, but I am most familiar with these two. The white building is Zhongxiao Sogo, which is one of the earlier Sogos, and also the one that I grew up going to. Every hour, the clock in the from plays "It's a Small World." Worth seeing once, I think. There's a Junkudo in this Sogo, which, I think, is the best place to buy Japanese books in Taiwan. Manga section is HUGE. There's maybe 12 floors in this Sogo that carries things ranging from cosmetics to children's toys.

photo from soeperbaby on flickr
The blue building is the Fuxing Sogo. It's pretty much just right across the street from Zhongxiao Sogo. I've only been to this Sogo once, but it carries all the designer brands. Some that I can remember from the top of my head are Burberry, Chanel, McQ, Vivienne Westwood, Mulberry. And then there's a lower floor that has Nine West and Aldo. That kind of stuff.


Wufenpu (五分埔)

Photo from

photo from wikipedia
I've only been to wufenpu once, and that was about two years ago. I don't remember much about it, but I feel like these pictures are pretty inaccurate of what I do remember. When I was there, it was really messy and hard to get around, and hard to find anything decent for sale. But! In Taiwan, there are several stores that sell the same things because they have the same supplier. Many stores get their clothes here and then sell them in the streets for a marked up price. So if you're looking for the cheapest place to get clothes, it might as well be here.


Hankyu Department Store (阪急): Located at Taipei City Hall Station (blue line)

photo from
Hankyu is pretty boring, actually. It opened late last year, so it's relatively new. It's worth going if you want to check out Uniqlo. This year, they had Big Bang shirts, Disney, Harry Potter I think, Cath Kidston, Barbie shirts, and some other cool stuff.


Taipei Underground Metro Mall: located in Taipei Main Station (the big station; red/blue line)

photo from

photo taken by me
photo by mom
The underground mall isn't as popular as it used to be; but still fun to go to. Especially on rainy days. There are several underground malls at the Taipei Main Station. The big one is supposed to Taipei City Mall. Next to it are Station Front Metro Mall (I think this one is the one filled with a bunch of books), Zhongshan Metro Mall, and K Underground Mall. Somewhere there, there's also a new shopping center that I didn't really understand what it was. I left pretty quickly though, because everything was out of my price range.

The first picture on top is Zhongshan Metro Mall. The bottom two are from Taipei City Mall. There's a place on the left side all the way near the back in the Taipei City Mall that sells ice cream for a good deal. It's a little more than a dollar for two big scoops. Sometimes I wish we had these deals in America. We make up for it for having affordable Haagan Daz. A small pint sized one costs about $10 in Taiwan.

Close and connected to the Taipei Main Station is the Taipei Railway Station. There are shops there too. It used to just be stores. I think it's considered to be Breeze Department Store now.


Eslite 誠品: located closest to Taipei City Hall station, next to Shin Kong Mitsukoshi (blue line)

photo from Wikipedia

Photo by mom
Eslite is supposed to be a bookstore, but most Eslite locations carry a lot more than just books. This one is the main building, and is my favorite building in Taipei. It also has really expensive stuff. There's a stationery store, CD store, and floors with food, clothes, and books.

photo by me
The reason I love this building so much is because of the urban fashion floor. I could just live on this floor please. The first store I see while walking in is Yohji Yamamoto's Y-3. And then as I go in more, I see a store with a giant poster with an Aitor Throup sketch. Aitor Throup!!!! I'm such a fan. But the real winner is this store that I took a photo of, TuanTuan. Half the store is dedicated to Comme des Garcons. This is the most CDG I've seen in my life. I'm not even joking. I was shaking while touching the clothes. The other half of the store carries equally awesome designers such as Ann Demeulemeester, Rick Owen, Balenciaga, and then I don't remember the rest. They're all hand-picked awesome designers, though.


Taipei 101: located closest to Taipei City Hall Station (blue line)

photo by me

photo by mom
Everyone knows of Taipei 101, right? There's actually not that many floors you can visit. If you pay about ten bucks, you can take the elevator to a high floor. They don't actually take you to the 101 floor though. I think it was 89th. Most of the stores on the available floors are high end stores that I don't really go to. Taipei 101 is a tourist spot, though, which is why it's on my list. Worth seeing, but once is probably more than enough. If you go to the OnePage bookstore, there'll be a lot of English speaking customers roaming around. English books are available there.


Ximending: located on Ximen station (blue line)

photo taken by mom

photo by heart of serpendipity
Seems that Ximending is pretty well known nowadays too. This is the most popular hangout place for students. This is where I always get my haircuts, because they're cheap. It was $12 for me for a wash massage and a cut. The only downside is that their cuts are pretty mediocre. Both times that I've had my hair cut here, I've felt relatively neutral about my hair. Ximending is one of my favorite places just because finding things is really convenient. There are a lot of clothing stores, CD stores with import CDs, this one anime store, and a big beauty supply store called Miranda.

Shilin Night Market: get off at Jiantan Station (red line)

photo by stan2china
If you've heard of night markets, you've probably heard of Shilin Night Market. Night Markets are all about shopping and food. Sometimes you can find things a little cheaper at the night markets. On most days, especially weekends, there'll be a sea of people. Avoid getting in those, because you literally wont be able to walk in those crowds. You just get pushed through people. Weekdays are just a little better. The thing is, I have blah luck so almost every time I go it's raining, so there are significantly fewer people. The streetside stores wont be there on rainy days though.


Danshui/Tamshui (淡水): located on Danshui station (red line)

photo by

Photos by me/ mom

Tamshui is Danshui in Taiwanese. So either way you say it in English is ok. Danshui is one of those places that I visit twice a year. The shopping area is called the old street, and is filled with all types of stores. More to the back, is a store that sells ocarinas. Ocarina is the only instrument I play (badly, though). I used to buy from there before I started making my own. I also get all of my backpacks here. Including those floral backpacks everyone keeps asking me about.

From Danshui, you can take a boat to Bali or the fisherman's wharf.

photo by mom
Bali is good if you want to go biking. You can rent bikes there, with a choice between a single bike, two person bike, or 4 person bike.

photo from gilron
At the fisherman's wharf, there's this pretty bridge. That's pretty much the only good thing there. Fisherman's wharf is a relatively long boat ride from Danshui. I don't think it's always been like this, but this year when I went to visit, it was like a ghost town. Nearly all the stores were closed/vacant.

Anddd there are the big places that I suggest! Shopping in Taiwan is fun, and there are shops everywhere in Taipei. Even stores like 7-11 and Watsons (convenience/ drug store) are fun. If you're looking for something more specific, I can't promise I know where to find what you're looking for, but feel free to shoot me a question.

Department stores carry a lot of Japanese imported brands and higher end Taiwanese brands, as well as imported foreign ones. Some of my personal favorite Taiwanese clothing brands are Gozo, Art Icon, a la sha, and J Daheck. Street brands are always nice, though, because you can look through pieces that have been picked out already and then haggle.

Taiwan is still constructing and rebuilding, so no matter what, this will still be incomplete.

Love, Kai

Monday, August 8, 2011

hell yeah we can rock this world.

Wearing a music tee and my Black Milks today for their contest. Winners get jellyfish leggings. JELLYFISH. LEGGINGS. So I had to enter.

Shakira tee from Goodwill, jacket from Taiwan, gifted scarf, Black Milk leggings, Doc Martens

Sex Pot Sid Vicious chain necklace
DIY deconstruction. Some thread pulling.
Bunny bag!
Assorted bracelets

I'm not good at contests, but for the sake of those jellyfish leggings, I really hope I can win a pair.

Love, Kai