Hime Gyaru FAQ

I’ve been saying I’m going to do this Hime Gyaru FAQ for such a long time now but I just kept putting it off and avoiding it. I find writing things like this very difficult because there is so much about fashion, especially those whose roots are in a different culture, that is subjective. Writing essays on the subject is not something I want to do, I would be much more at home making some hair bows!

Also please note that these are just the conclusions that I have come to from my own research and opinions. I am not the be-all end-all authority on the subject of Hime Gyaru. I wouldn’t consider myself an expert, I am just writing in response to the huge number of questions I receive on the subject so I don’t keep having to repeating myself.

About The Hime Gyaru Style:

What is Hime Gyaru?

-Hime Gyaru is a street fashion which originated in Japan. The literal translation of Hime Gyaru (ๅงซใ‚ฎใƒฃใƒซ) is Princess Girl. It is a fashion subculture which centers around dressingย  and (depending how seriously you take it) living life like a princess.

When did it start?

-While it’s aesthetic roots could probably be traced back to Japan’s 1970’s “cute” movement, today’s incarnation was popularized by the store Jesus Diamante in the early 2000’s.

So do you actually believe you’re some kind of real Princess?

-No. It’s not uncommon for a girl who enjoys the style to attach the “hime” suffix to the end of her name in Japanese rather than the traditional chan/san indicating she is a princess eg. Keiko Hime/ใ‘ใ„ใ“ใฒใ‚ = Princess Keiko. For the most part this seems to be a bit of fun, I highly doubt there are many girls out there who believe they are the long lost great granddaughter of some tiny European monarchy. It’s more in the same way that girls/women will use the chan suffix to appear cuter.

Are hostess wear and Hime Gyaru the same? Are all Hime Gyaru hostess? Ageha is a hostess magazine with Hime style clothes right so it must be the same thing?

-No they are not the same thing. There is some style cross over in the hair and make up areas and some hostesses do dress in hime styles but they are not the same thing. Many hostesses do not enjoy Hime styles and many Hime Gyaru (myself included) are not hostesses. Ageha caters to both markets with hair and make up tutorials, it also features both Hime and hostess clothing though the emphasis lately has been more on hostess style.

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What are the influences on Hime Gyaru?

-Very generally speaking: Rococo France and European royalty. More modern royalty is also an influence to a smaller extent. The more jewel encrusted, the better ๐Ÿ˜‰

Why do people like this?

-Because it’s pretty? Everyone has their own personal reasons, personally I just enjoy the look.

Do you dress this way to attract men?

-NO. Just NO. Yes there are *some* girls that dress this way to attract men BUT that is personal choice not something to do with the fashion.

How much does it cost to be hime gyaru?

-It costs as much or as little as you want it it. Yes that’s a very round about answer because it’s a very round about subject. If you want to buy only JD clothes, get extensions, cut and dye your hair and get your nails done at a salon every single month then it can be a very expensive hobby. However if you take the time to learn some skills like how to do acrylic nails, dye your hair at home or sew it can take the costs right down. It really is about how creative you want to get… instead of paying $700 for a Jesus Diamante dress I can make one for $10 out of a scarf and some pillow cases, no it’s not exactly the same thing but you get the idea.

Is Hime Gyaru the same as Lolita?

-No, they are completely different. While some of the aesthetics are the same (cute things, frills, lace etc) the idea is entirely different. Hime style is more grown up while Lolita is more childish. Lolita strives to be a cute little doll while Hime has a more mature element. Lolitas will wear petticoats at all times to give their skirts a bell shape while Hime Gals prefer more subtle shape. Lolita generally will have covered shoulders with a blouse and covered legs with stockings/socks while Hime Gyaru may not…. and the list goes on.

Is Hime Gyaru like Lolita’s older sister?

There has been a lot of debate on this subject but in my opinion… not really. While a lot of Lolitas tend to “graduate” into Hime Gyaru, the styles have completely different ideals and are not really linked. Sweet Lolitas have a tendency to move into Hime style because it has familiar themes and is comfortable. It can also be a lot less restrictive than Lolita can be and can be easier to incorporate into everyday life. That’s not to say that all Lolita’s feel this way, it’s just what I have heard from those who have made the change. I myself made the graduation between the two and I think Hime is more like Lolita’s slightly older cousin who has an expense account and a company car ๐Ÿ˜‰

Are Hime and Onee Gyaru the same thing?

-No. Hime is Princess style while Onee is more for girls who have graduated from an extreme style to a more family friendly style. Onee tend to be more laid back and love high end brands. Onee can be mistaken for a more casual version of Hime style sometimes but it’s not the same thing.

What are the main identifying parts of a Hime Gyaru outfit?

Please note that all of these elements are not required to make a Hime outfit, they are the most common element.

  • Big hair usually with big curls too
  • Big eyelashes
  • Dark eye make up
  • Hair bows and flowers
  • Knee length dresses usually with prints or embellishments
  • High heels with flowers, lace or bows
  • Pearl or diamond jewelery
  • Fancy nail art with lots of embellishments

 

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What are the philosophies behind the style?

-I think the main point is really enjoying beautiful things ^_^

How do you get your hair like that?

-You can view tutorials here and here.

Where are good places to shop for Hime clothes in Japan and in the West?

Japan- Jesus Diamante, Liz Lisa, La Parfait, 100yen stores have a surprising selection of useful things too like eyelashes and hair/nail accessories.

West- The most obvious is Yesstyle. Bodyline also has usable things. My best advice for shopping though is to look locally. I’ve found usable dresses in Target and all kinds of random places. Don’t overlook junk stores and thrift stores, I’ve found some of my favorite things there and they’re super cheap! To be perfectly honest I don’t shop in just one place. I look everywhere I go for things which are usable and even living in silly Brisbane I managed to find a whole wardrobe.

Does the fashion have a lifestyle aesthetic involved or is it simply appreciation of beauty?

-This is a bit of a tough question as it differs for every person. I know there are girls out there that take the fashion very seriously and live their lives as if they were a Rococo Princess, others just dress this way on weekends because it’s fun.

I would say for me personally there is an element of lifestyle but not because a fashion is telling me to do it. I like tea parties, making beautiful things, baking and the kinds of things you would expect someone who dresses like me to… but I like things that are in complete opposition to my fashion as well. The thing is… that I liked all of those cute frilly things before I was interested in Hime Gyaru or even Lolita fashion. Maybe it’s more accurate that my fashion is an extension of my life style and not the other way round ๐Ÿ™‚

What is the subculture like in Japan compared to the West – does it have a large following or is it relatively obscure?

-So far as I’m aware the subculture in Japan is of a decent size. Not as big as regular Gyaru or Lolita but they aren’t uncommon. According to the Wall Street Journal Jesus Diamante turned over US$13.4 million in the year ended March 2008, so clearly someone is buying them! While in Japan in 2007 I remember one occasion of visiting Angelic Pretty in Harajuku and being very surprised that it was packed with Hime Gyaru rather Lolita! The Western world is different though. From what I’ve seen it’s quite rare to find more than a couple of girls in the same place. Of course there are exceptions but Hime is a “go big or go home” kind of thing which can be hard to keep up with no friends to talk to about it unless you *really* love what you’re wearing.

Do Hime in other countries do the fashion differently to girls in Japan?

-Yes. One obvious difference here is the make up, Japanese techniques need to be adjusted to achieve the same effect on a different shaped eye. Availability is another factor which changes the way Western girls wear the fashion. In Japan you can walk into a shop and walk out with a complete outfit. In most other countries you have to search quite hard to put together a decent coordinate out of local items. I think that this probably makes girls more resourceful and (arguably) more committed to the fashion because they have to work a lot harder for the end result. In the parts of Asia I’ve visited, staple Hime items are readily available for decent prices while in other areas of the world they aren’t. Diamantes are a great example of this, in many places in Asia you can just walk to the shops are buy a pack of 1000 or so diamantes for a reasonable price. Here in Australia our craft stores generally sell them in packs of 10-50 for $5 upwards. So if I want to complete a deco project in a cost effective way I have to order from overseas. The internet has helped greatly with shopping and making friends with similar interests so I think as more companies start shipping internationally we’ll be closer than ever ๐Ÿ™‚

Is the style dying?

-It’s true there has been a lot less activity in the last few years. According to Mitsu the Jesus Diamante Mixi forums are dead, I’ve seen less Hime in street snaps, Ageha is moving towards more generic host looks and there seems to be less talk about the fashion in general. Personally I’m putting this down to a mass graduation of the 1st gen of girls. A lot of girls who began in the fashion in 2000-2005 are now getting a bit older and graduating to more mature fashions. Even Keiko Mizoe who is Jesus Diamante’s biggest selling/most popular shop girl has retired to settle down into family life. So with that era of girls retiring their frilly hair pieces, the next few years will tell if Hime Gyaru is going to be an enduring style or end up with styles like Manba as a footnote of fashion history. Personally even if no one else dresses this way I won’t mind, I dress to please myself, not because it’s in fashion!

About Me In The Fashion:

Are you a spoiled princess?

-No. I work very hard for the things that I own.

Do you wear Hime style 24/7?

-I don’t wear full on Hime style all the time, that’s just not practical. Who wants to sleep with a head full of bobby pins? I dress how I feel on a particular day. When I am not wearing complete Hime you will usually find me in something like this. For days when I’m just staying home and working I like to be comfortable. I wear cute lounge wear with frills and lace but that’s a whole other post. I try to incorporate as much Hime style as possible into what I’m wearing at all times.

Do you spend all of your money on clothing to the detriment of being able to feed yourself? Do all Hime Gyaru do this?

-No and no. This whole issue/stereotype has been brought on by one silly article that was written about a woman who spent all her money on clothes and had no food to feed her children. That is not an accurate representation of an entire style. There are idiots in any group of people and clearly not everyone is good at managing their money. I eat very well *thankyouverymuch*, as does James.

How do you afford all of these extravagant things?

-A lady doesn’t tell and a gentleman doesn’t ask. No the truth of the matter is that I work damn hard for what I have and if I see something I want that I can’t afford it I make it.

Do you have to wear a petticoat?

-No, not all the time. A bell shaped skirt is not required in Hime style. It does depend on the dress though some things just look better with a petti ^_^

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So you only wear pink?

-No. Hime style can include many colours. Pastels are common but dark colours like red and black aren’t uncommon. Pretty much the only colours that are completely off limits are fluros.

Where do you get your clothes?

-I buy at local shops, thrift stores, online and make things.

OMFGSDSD!!! I WISH I COULD DRESS LIKE YOU BUT *insert excuse here*

-Well you should stop wishing and do it ^_^

Other good resources:

Universal Doll- Fantastic resource for Gal information in general. Full of really well written articles!

Ricoche.net- Forum all about Gyaru, all styles including some Hime.

Hime Livejournal Community– Community for Hime girls, but not updated often.

And after all of that writing I’m pretty damn tired and I’ve earned my cup of tea! Happy to answer any Hime Gyaru related questions to the best of my ability ๐Ÿ™‚

Hairstyle Questions and Answers

Lately a couple of people have been asking about how I do my hair style and decorate my hair.

When I posted my make up tutorial Victoria Suzanne from Lolita Charm asked:

“I’d love to know about the roses in your hair – did you make them and how are they in such a cute little band? “

Here is a screen shot of my hair from the tutorial (the best one I could find anyway!)

So I thought today that I would talk a little bit about hair and show you how you can turn pretty much anything into a hair clip ^_^

So let’s make the hair clips first. These are my favorite types of roses. They are actually made from styrofoam which sounds strange but they are very soft, durable and realistic. I got mine from Spotlight but I imagine most craft stores carry them.

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So what you need is flowers (or whatever you want to make into a hair clip), a hot glue gun and some bobby pins.

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Using the glue gun you should put a good amount on both the rose and the bobby pin. Press them together. A good tip is to make sure that hot glue actually gets through the loop part of the bobby pin, this makes sure that it can’t pop out of the glue later.

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You should hold the bobby pin where the stem on the flower would go. Normal hair clips would put the clip on a right angle but I find that it’s easier to hide the pin amongst your hair like this. Be careful not to burn yourself on the glue! When it’s dry it should look like this:

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If you want you can cover the ugly glue on the back with a small circle of felt but seeing as it’s going to be buried in my hair I don’t mind so much ^_^

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You can really do this with anything. Here is a sneak peak at what I’m going to be wearing in my hair at the Nuffnang Christmas party… I bought these butterflies at a junk store.
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Now I have an army of butterfly hair clippies!

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They are going to look super cute!

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So now that you’ve made your clips it’s time to decorate your hair! How you arrange them greatly depends on the look you want. For me I want a hime style look but my other motivation is to cover my re-growth of non-blonde hair so I can wait longer between dyes and damage my hair less. So this is what I start out with:

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When it’s up like this, the regrowth is super obvious. I’m sure I could cover it with a hat like a normal girl but with hime style hair it doesn’t go so well!
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So to do the style I did in the video you need to start with a base head band. I like to use one which is similar colour to the flowers and has something interesting on it like a bow.

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Everything about the style I’m making is lopsided so make sure you pick your best side for the bow!

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Now get your flowers, it’s nice to use a few different types or shapes of flowers to make the style more interesting.

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So grab one of your flowers (I’m starting with the light pink ones) and attach it. You should slide the flower under the headband because the band will hide the metal bit. You really don’t actually need to get much hair to hold it in, just a tiny bit. I get a tiny bit of my fringe in to it then push the whole way into my pouf.

This is how it looks all the way in. See how it hides everything nicely?

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Now add another one on that side above the first.

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And one on the other side… For this style I work with uneven numbers of flowers to make it even more lopsided.

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Now you have quite a good base to work with, start adding the other kind of flower. You can add as many or few until you like how it looks. I like a lot of flowers so this is what I ended up with ๐Ÿ˜€

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No regrowth to be seen ^_^

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Now here are some variations on this look, it’s very versatile…

This time instead of a head band I started with a row of flowers that I’ve glued on a comb.

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So add it to the side because it’s going to be your feature piece.

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This version requires more flowers if you want to cover up regrowth but still looks cute.

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If you are wearing awesome earrings you can pull the bits of hair on the side backwards and pin them over the headband. Here is how it looks with a different headband.

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So I hope that answers some of your questions, if you’d like ore information just leave me a comment ๐Ÿ˜€
Btw if you’re interested in Lolita fashion you should check out Victoria Suzanne‘s blog, it’s full of really interesting articles and she has some very cute hair styles of her own!!

New Layout Artwork


This week’s artwork post is a little bit different to usual…

I’ve completely overhauled the layout to the blog complete with new cute version of me on the banner ๐Ÿ˜€

Over the next week I’m going to be working out all of the kinks so if something doesn’t work or you don’t like something let me know and I’ll do my best to fix it up.

I’m just about falling asleep on the keyboard at the moment but these are some of the other changes which will be made tomorrow:

  • Fix all broken/crappy widgets and get them to match the colours
  • Add sponsors page
  • Add about me page
  • Add find me online page
  • Find better label/tag cloud. I saw a cool spinning one the other day but I’ve forgotten where, suggestions?
  • Anything else you guys point out…

Btw can someone tell me if the Twitter feed on the right is working? It’s not working on my computer but the code appears to be correct and I’m on a Mac…

So what do you all think of the artwork?

My Hime Gyaru Inspirations…

Well I’ve had quite a few questions about what inspires me to do the things I do and clothes I wear. I’ve been asked what blogs I read too so I thought I’d use today’s post to give a bit of a shout out to people I admire and my favorite things! This is going to be a pretty long post because I have a lot of wonderful people to talk about, at the end there are random facts about me you didn’t know so keep reading!

I’m also going to be adding to this over time too.(All photos other than the one above credited to their original owners and found via google images ^_^ Also these are all my opinions, I’m not being paid to endorse anything hahaha!)

Styles that Inspire me:

Hime Gyaru Hime style is what I’m most inspired by at the moment. The philosophy is basically to live like a princess! Big hair, big accessories and big nails, I love it all. Many people refer to this style as “Lolita’s older sister” because many Lolitas graduate to this style. It’s slightly more grown up but not much! I think it’s less restrictive though, I can wear beautiful high heels ๐Ÿ˜€

Lolita One of my first fashion loves was Lolita and no matter what I do I’ll never shake it completely! While I still love the over the top-ness that is Sweet Style, after almost 5 years or so I’m moving towards Classic styles. Still love my pettis though ๐Ÿ˜€
1950-60’s and RockabillyI love the music and the dresses. I may not have ben alive when it happened but I sure love that style! I know it’s oversimplifying it but I wish girls still got all dolled up for a night at the Malt Shop ^_^ So classy and classicly beautiful. This cut of dress is flattering on almost anyone.

Shops that I Love: Angelic Pretty- The ultimate Lolita store, enough said. I still love their accessories and a lot of the dresses. http://www.angelicpretty.com/en/ http://www.angelicpretty.com/ Jesus Diamante- Jesus Diamante is to Hime Gyaru what AP is to Lolita. I looove so many of their accessories and dresses. I would kill for some of their shoes… so expensive though ;_; http://www.jesusdiamante.com/ OC Nails- Kathleen over at OC nails is a champion! They sell fantastic Konad supplies and they regularly offer free shipping for orders over $20… even international shipping! I’ve placed orders and the communication is fantastic and the shipping was very promt. Proper review next time I order ๐Ÿ™‚ Anyway if you need any Konad nail art supplies check them out! http://www.ocnailart.com/ NailsEtoile.comThis nail shop is run by Mitsue in Adelaide. She seriosly has some of the prettiest and most creative designs I’ve ever seen! She’s super nice too ๐Ÿ˜€ Currently her shop is under construction but you can still see all her tutorials here:http://www.create-magical-nails.com/ Full Moon Deco- Yuki runs this shop out of Australia, she sells lots of fake nails but also she sells a lot of imported http://fullmoon07xxx.ocnk.net/ Blogs that I Loooove:

In no particular order…

Create Magical Nails This is Mitsue’s blog, she writes the best nail art tutorials. She’s also my Princess Sister from another city ^_^ You might have already clicked the link to her shop in the section above, if not check this out because she makes the best acrylic nails I’ve ever seen! http://miniblog.create-magical-nails.com/mini_nail_blog/ Getcha Nails Did Brooke is the champi on of nail polish. If you are into nails and haven’t been to her blog get there quickly! http://getchanailsdid.blogspot.com/ Jimmy America My wonderful boyfriend James’ blog. I sure do love him. He writes about random things and cameras. http://jimmyamerica.blogspot.com/ Sigmate’s Studio Sigmate writes about comic books and comic book artists. He features a different artist and interviews them every week! http://sigmatestudio.com/ Princessly Living A very well written blog about Lolita fashion. There are great articles and Lady Kristen writes with inteligence and knowledge that can only come with being in the subcultre for a long time. http://princess-living.blogspot.com/ Not sure the title… An adorable blog of a Japanese Lolita girl. I haven’t gotten a chance to read much of it yet but the pictures are enough to keep me coming back! http://utsugixtarte.blog74.fc2.com/ Hey Lola One word: hilarious. http://www.loveheylola.com/ Vestque’s Creations Vestque makes some really fantastic artwork, she’s also a really nice person! My favorite works of hers are the cute anime versions of real people she does, check a couple of posts back to see the ones she did of me, too cute! http://vestque.wordpress.com/ One Thousand Frills An intelectual take on Lolita. Several really well writen essays and thoughts on Lolita fashion. Cassandra is also a really great comic book artist. http://onethousandfrills.blogspot.com/ Super Kawaii Mama A melbourne fashion icon… but mostly just a really nice lady! Candice gives style tips for retro themed looks and regularly blogs about her awesome outfits. http://www.superkawaiimama.com.au/ Blue Crane Design My work blog… of course I read it, I write it! Writings about graphic design and all kinds of other junk ๐Ÿ˜‰ http://bluecranedesign.blogspot.com/ Himehood Has quite a few tutorials on how to make hime style things at home. http://himehood.blogspot.com/ Konaddict A relatively new blog which features some of the prettiest Konad designs I’ve ever seen. Tutorials for all of them too! http://konaddict.blogspot.com/ Xiaxue Ok a lot of people hate her but I think she’s pretty damn funny! Outrageous but hilarious. http://xiaxue.blogspot.com/ Koakumachou Adorable little Siru’s blog. She’s a beautiful girl who’s interested in Gyaru fashion and does a fantastic job at it! Lots of cute photos. http://koakumachou.blogspot.com/ Never Too Much Glitter Written by a girl living in Japan with a love for glitter and rhinestones, this blog has super cute nail art. Almost a new nail art pic every day. If you love bling, you’ll love this! http://nevertoomuchglitter.wordpress.com/ Hearty and Hearty Japanese hime blog, makes her own increadible hime deco items. Lots of pink and frills, written by one of the cutest princesses I’ve ever seen ๐Ÿ™‚ http://hearty2.blogspot.com Madam Salami Hand made and recycled goods by Madam Salami. Full of cute one of a kind clothing and cute anecdotes. http://handmadebymadamsalami.blogspot.com/ Clockwork Dahlia Lots of nail polish reviews and swatches as well as some other interesting and random things. http://clockworkdahlia.blogspot.com/ Cranky Twin Mom LOVE this blog! Heather has her own etsy shop which I’ve reviewed here before. She talks about her new products and being a mother of twins, very funny! http://crankytwinmom.blogspot.com/ Cherry Pop Lots of Japanese magazine scans and gyaru pictures. Also sometimes includes videos and pictures of fashion shows. http://cherrypop.over-blog.com/ Groups and websites: Ricoche Ricoche is a forum/gallery/meeting place/everything for all types of Gyaru. There aren’t many Hime style girls here but keep an eye out and you’ll spot them ^_^ Has a massive amount of information and photos. http://www.ricoche.net/ Poupee Girl Fantastic time wasting site! Upload your wardrobe and comment, then dress up your virtual doll. So much fun! http://pupe.ameba.jp/ People/celebrities/models I admire: Keiko Mizoe Keiko is the ultimate Hime Gyaru. She is the top shop assistant at Jesus Diamante and models for the magazine Ageha. I’m jealous! Ah can you imagine an unlimited JD wardrobe at your disposal? *sigh* one day. So I admire her because she works hard at what she does, she has style and she does it very well! James McDuff Yep James gets another mention because he’s awesome. I really do admire him, he’s so good to me. He has a great outlook on life and is always positive when I tend to be negative. He’s put up with a lot and we’re still together and going strong! Also I just enjoy posting unflattering photos of him ๐Ÿ˜€ This was when he was cleaning the bathroom and I ran in and surprised him! To be honest as much as I’m inspired by the looks of some famous people, the people who inspire me most of all are you guys! I love reading your blogs and especially your comments, you all make my day and make me want to keep posting often! Some random things you didn’t know about me: -I looove candy and sweet things but my favorite food is pasta -I don’t like ice cream or people who smoke -I had blue hair for around 6 months -I am fanatical about saving money for a rainy day -I have lived in 23 houses… so far -I cut my finger today while making lunch ๐Ÿ™ -I have been ill for the last 2 years with a disease no one can figure out, I have seizures and that sucks. -I love playing video games! Especially Super Smash Bros, I am champion at it! For the future: -I’m going to grow my hair out or maybe I’ll get some proper extensions. -I’m going to buckle down and learn more Japanese, at the moment I think I could chat to a kindergardener ^_^ Kanji here I come! -Saving money for a trip to Japan and a house deposit -WORK WORK WORK! Hard work sees results so I am going to work my butt off ๐Ÿ˜€

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