where to find me

A quick update to give links to where I've been more active than on blogger.

In the past few years I haven't had access to a home computer, as well as struggling with health, so I've been relying on mobile applications to update more! Also I've been super busy at university and will soon be creating a portfolio of web design.

So in the meantime, please check out:

If easier, you can always check out my about.me account too. Thank you, look forward to seeing you there!

ordering from taobao with spreenow shopping service

SpreeNow is one of the taobao shopping services I recommend the most due to its easy to use interface and low cost. I first became aware of it when the shopping service I always used, TaoBaoNow, started advertising SpreeNow.com as their new website.

With SpreeNow you do not have to spend hours tediously filling out a spreadsheet making sure you've written down each meticulous detail about the item you're trying to buy, nor do you get hit by hidden charges like some shopping services do (some other shopping services I use convert the currency to USD and charge you more in the markup!), and the service fee is low as 10% (whereas I have come across other agents charging 15% etc). Also a bonus - you can use PayPal! As well the staff all have excellent communication and are English speaking and check your packages for you, explaining what is happening every step of the way. In short,

Why I use SpreeNow:
  • "Spree It!" button + Cart = Ease of Use
  • No hidden charges
  • Low Service Fee (10%)
  • Can use PayPal
  • Helpful, English-speaking staff
Why have I begun using the new site SpreeNow over TaoBaoNow? One thing I find hugely beneficial about SpreeNow is the "+Spree It!" button. As it says on the website all you simply need to do is:
"Drag the ✚ Spree It! button to your browser's Bookmark Bar. Use that ✚ Spree It! button on Taobao or Tmall's product pages. It will add any product directly to your SpreeNowShop cart."
You do not even have to copy and paste a URL! For example, if I were to order this wig:

Click on the "+Spree It!" bookmark when you are on a product you want.

Here an image of the product will load as well as options, this will tell you the price and postage cost.
Just click "+Spree It!" when you are happy with the product.

And then simply click on "Go To Shopping Cart" to see all the items from different stores I want to buy, including the cost of shipping each products to the shopping service. When satisfied with that click "Submit Cart" - it will tell you the total cost of the order, plus the store's service charge of 10%. As it says on the cart page, that does not include international shipping. For more information about SpreeNow's international shipping, as it is done by weight with various shipping options as well as payment options, check out SpreeNow's question pages!

Why would you need to use a shopping service when buying from taobao? I have copy and pasted these answers from SpreeNow's about and question pages, to show why it is so important to use a shopping service:
  • You do not understand Chinese language, and you need some help even when online translation tools are easily available.
  • You do not have a bank account in China.
  • You do not have a postal address in China.
  • You want to buy many products from different sellers or even different websites, but international shipping costs a lot more when products are shipped individually instead of in a combined package.

And as to why it is good to use SpreeNow in particular:
  • SpreeNow was officially founded in 2009. We were operating "sprees" among forums since 2007 and established a Shopping Assistance Service website in 2009. We have many years of experience in the e-commerce market in China.
  • Shop at any online shopping mall in China, such as Taobao, PaiPai, Eachnet, Dangdang, etc., and spend less by combined shipping to overseas destination.
  • Save money with our discounted international shipping services.
  • Pay with our numerous payment options, such as credit card. (and can use PayPal!)
  • Request any extra service such as customizing your order, additional packaging protection, shipping insurances, etc.
  • We are also verified by Digicert with Extended Validation Certificate to provide a safe and secure environment for your protection.
I have been using this website a long time and it's definitely my favourite.
Please give it a go and let me know what you think! :)
(Please use my referral code if you try it!)

Thanks for reading!

bornprettystore.com special offer 10% discount code!

Just to say that bornprettystore.com have given me a discount code for 10% off all products in jewellery & accessories and hair & decoration catagories! With free international unregistered shipping and prices as low as 61p for a ring... it's already cheap so this makes it even more appealing to bargain hunters like me!

Just use the code ARLT10 for 10% off your purchases of any full priced item in these categories.

I've gone for the punk spiked elastic multi-use band, the punk exaggerated wide chain necklace, this punk bracelet in exaggerated chain design, and this pointed finger nail ring. This is my first order if I have to narrow it down to a diptic! What are your eyes on?

Yumi's Sweet Japan Goods Store and Japanese Shopping Service

Today I am writing about this cute ねこにゃん cat Nintendo 3DS XL case (or "3DS LL" case as they are called in Japan) from CYBERGadget, a Japanese gaming goods/accessories manufacturing company. This case is a silicone 3DS XL case with cute cat ears and features. So not only does the case protect the 3DS XL, it also makes it look cute... or makes you look like a crazy cat guy (or lady).

I wanted the black cat CYBERgadget nekonyan Nintendo 3DS XL case.
As you can see I think it goes with my phone case so well too!?

You can see the 3DS XL's camera are the eyes of this cat! How cute!
This also leaves all the sockets etc accessible, so no need to take the case off.

Not only was this packaged in the original sealed packaging and wrapped neatly, there was a cute free gift of cute and tasty Rilakkuma furikake... actually it's so cute we haven't eaten yet, haha!

Of course, it's really difficult to buy this kind of thing from the UK, so many places I looked the price was so inflated and had no idea of the level of service etc so I ordered from eBay and the cheapest/best value price there was Yumi's shop Japanese Goods Essence ! There are lots of cute or "kawaii" goods available in Yumi's shop on eBay. Alternatively if you don't see what you are looking for there, Yumi has opened up a storeenvy and working on her own website too:

And last but not least, Yumi has told me she is setting up her own JAPANESE SHOPPING SERVICE now! Here are the details I have been sent about it.


I ask 2 times of separate payments. First, before purchase, 2nd, after purchase.

1st time------------------------------------
*The amount of your items.

  • Up to -5,000yen---$10.00
  • 5,001-10,000yen---$15.00
  • 10,001-15,000yen---$20.00
  • 15,001-20,000yen---$25.00
  • 20,001-40,000yen---$25.00 + $1.00 per 1,000 yen up
  • 40,001yen- ---$45.00 + $0.50 per 1,000 yen up

*+$2.00 per additional order 
*Shipping within Japan----if free shipping, it will be "0".
(Actual postal charge from seller to my place.)
*Bank fee - A flat $2.00 fee per order (if from the 2 shops, needs x2).

2nd time------------------------------------

*Shipping to your home - Actual postal charge to your home.
*Transaction fee (paypal fee)  - 5% of the total.

As you can see, Yumi will only make the commission on the entire product, which is a lot less percentage than most shopping services charge and no hidden costs, the entire process is as above! If you do partake in the shopping service or buy from Yumi's shops, please say chyphens sent you! Thanks and enjoy!

chyphens' THANK YOU FOLLOWERS giveaway!


graze box discount friendcode - free boxes

I hope this link works - I started with Graze again after many many years to get me back in the routine of eating healthy while my Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is too bad to let me go out to buy fresh and healthy things every day. With Graze boxes, I get to have lots of different little portions of healthy snacks to try, no need to buy huge packets and then find they go off so quickly or actually they're not as good as I remember...

With my friendcode if you sign up you get a pretty good deal. Usually you get the first box free, right? For some reason with my friendcode you get the FIRST, FIFTH and TENTH boxes totally free, postage is included! An amazing deal, isn't it?

Each box costs £3.99 and you can choose what kind of box you want and how regularly you want it delivered. You can even have holidays booked in so you won't be charged for any wasted or unwanted boxes. You can also deliver to multiple addresses, or book "one off" boxes!

It also has dietary preferences so if like me you cannot eat spicy food, or if you are vegetarian, just go to the dietary preference page and you will be able to remove all the things you can't eat with just one click, saves going through page after page hunting out the items you cannot eat!

Another bonus is if you sign up and then decide it's not for you... just cancel. It's pay-as-you-go, you are only charged per box shipped, not tied into a huge contract like so many other delivery companies. Why not try it? Especially if you're getting in shape for summer conventions - cut out that Pocky, eat healthy, haha!

Thanks for reading!

radio silence

Sorry for the radio silence. Since Ifrit has passed away I haven't felt much like doing anything. I hope to change that now and get back into the swing of things with some reviews and photographs heading your way!

Thanks for understanding.

review: lost mannequin sid rucksack

Recently Lost Mannequin had a sale on to celebrate hitting a certain amount of page likes, and since I've had my eye on their Black Winged Sid Backpack but could never justify it to myself with university costs etc, I jumped at the chance to get it! I actually received this item in 9 days from payment and I am located in the UK. How fast is that!?

It arrived in time for me to take it to Kitacon (an anime/cosplay convention here in the UK), and it comfortably fit all this inside:
  • MacBook Pro 13" in its case and charger
  • iPhone and charger
  • Camera and charger
  • Nintendo 3DS XL and charger
  • 2 Cosplay Make-Up Bags
  • 2 Boxes of Coscards
  • Sewing kit 
  • Bag of medication
  • Headphones
  • Wallet
  • Keys (Has a clip to hang keys from inside!)
So much space inside really, and so many individual pockets with secure fastenings. Some people said they found a smell when opening the packaging so I was prepared to air it out for days but... didn't notice anything like this whatsoever! It was completely ready to use and I was so grateful for it arriving in time as it stored so much and the straps are so comfortable and hard wearing as padded and adjustable!

It really feels a worthy investment and I'm so glad I bought this. Now my greedy eyes are tempted looking at some of their other stock... hmm...

Thanks for reading!

birmingham rag market: little italy & stockings shop

Today I'm going to write about some places in Birmingham, some "hidden treasures" of some cool clothing and accessories that you can find in Birmingham, UK. Please let me know if you find this kind of thing interesting as I'm hoping to do a series of these of online and offline guides of where to find fantastic things.

First of all, as it's coming up to Halloween (I love spooky things!), a lot of my friends are posting about doing "guro lolita" to celebrate October, the Halloween month, so I thought some of these buys may be interesting! Of course there's lovely stuff for every day. I'm not sure of the name of this stall, but as well as socks, tights and stockings it sells bags and leggings too.

The shop lies in the middle of Birmingham Rag Market.
White tights with blood splatters, tattoo tights, snake skeleton tights.

More tattoo tights and also crossbone tights and batty bat tights!

Tattoo tights again - a delicately drawn little black cat,
this would make a subtle interesting addition to an outfit!

2 spoopy "It's a Mystery" ghostie tights, here you can see prices!
They also had tights with veins and arteries
(not pictured here), the kind sold on RTBU for £10+
Here you can see the prices are £3.99-£4.99 with some even 3 for £10!

More tattoo tights (look at this gorgeous patterns!) and for you
Alice in Wonderland fans, or just you card sharks, over knee thick stockings
with card suits print and a little bow with an ace on the top! Cute.

Secondly, and most excitingly to me, a lovely lady named Norma has opened her dream shop in Birmingham Rag Market, the name of the shop is Little Italy. I unfortunately forgot to take photographs there, but I hope to go back and take more. Damien bought a gorgeous jacket for an aristocratic style from Little Italy, and I think soon he'll post about it on his blog.

Norma is a lovely friendly lady and Little Italy has just opened, so while stock is a little limited (some things had already sold out yesterday, the first day of being open!), I'm sure soon they'll have lots more stock and lots more variety soon. Little Italy's clothes are, obviously, all made in Italy to the highest quality and Norma herself spends time doing quality control checking how well the items are sewn which is amazing dedication, much more attention to detail is spent there than in high street shops!

Some of the places Little Italy's clothes are sourced from are the same companies that produce clothes for All Saints - but without the large price tag attached. The styles Little Italy stocks varies and can be combined in all different ways, it's all about the layering! Excitingly, it's all soft neutrals, blacks to greys to greens and browns and would be absolutely perfect for a gypsy, boho look or for fans of Japanese fashion, this is your place to shop for dolly kei or mori kei fashion as there are so many deconstructed items in soft flowing materials with unusual trims or neck lines - some with gorgeous faux fur edging.Some of the boleros, shrugs and cardigans would be perfect for aristocratic or lolita looks too, it is all very versatile.

I've been asked to be a personal shopper to a close friend and I cannot wait to take her there and dress her up like a little mori-kei forest girl! Definitely going back to take photographs so I can share it with you!

review: sheinside cat sweatshirt

Just to post about an amazing sweater I recently ordered from Sheinside. Don't let the name fool you - as any good alternative guy knows, the most fashionable places are womens shops. We're stuck with slogan t-shirts and straight leg jeans. So on with the review! I ordered this item on 02/09/2012 and received it on 12/09/2012, amazingly fast shipping. I was still waiting on some zips I ordered from the UK in this time, so I was shocked (in a good way) how fast the shipping was.

less than £15 delivered!

I really liked the way this was packaged, it came neatly folded in a reusable zip lock bag with the shop name "Sheinside" printed on it, inside the standard plastic packaging wrap. We recycle/reuse all packaging here, so this is all useful. You can see Ifrit helping me unwrap this as he is a nosy little face. Another great thing about the postage is I got a tracking number and was told how to log in and track my item, which again, with free shipping is pretty nifty.

The quality of the item is brilliant for the price, think how much Primark sweaters are nowdays! You can see it in my lookbook above. I'd say for disposable fashion this is great. The colour is vibrant, the fabric is really soft, if you are reading this debating buying this jumper I would say go for it. Especially if you haven't bought from Sheinside before - new members get 15% off making it even cheaper!

I already have my eye on my next purchases from there...!

Postage: ❤❤❤❤❤
Service: ❤❤❤❤❤
Price: ❤❤❤❤❤
Quality: ❤❤❤❤❤
Overall: ❤❤❤❤❤
5/5 highly recommended
will order again!