Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Tragic Books By Isis Sousa Triple Review!

I was reading a back issue of Gothic Beauty, and noticed an ad about Tragic Books. The ad had the old blogspot url, which had ''.no'' at the end of it, which caught my eye. I checked it out, and turns out the author, Isis Sousa, lives right here in Norway! I contacted her, and she is really nice! I hope to meet up with her. She kindly sent me two of her books, so I will be reviewing those! I'm also reviewing a short story of hers that you can get for free on her website:

This book is a great, modern victorian gothic novel. Elisa suffers tragedy and mystery, and we follow her while she floats between life and death, and all the people that she meet in both worlds.
The writing style is a mix between victorian and modern. It's an easy read, it's not heavy to read at all. If you're not used to reading victorian novels, this could probably be a good transition. It's written in third person, and doesn't focus only on Elisa, but other characters when need be, so we get to know them better as well. The descriptions are lovely and very romantic, without being too much.
The story picks up pretty fast from the beginning, then keeps an okay pace. Within the very first pages of the book you realize that Eliza will be in grave danger. Aside from the action, there is quite a bit of romance in the book, which reminds me of the classic young adult paranormal novel. I don't really like those types of books anymore, but luckily it's not overpowering in this story. Just a smidge too romantic for me - I'm not much of a romantic, haha. But the book has a nice, happy ending - I guess? Haha. I liked it, at least!
And I have to say; Isis, thank you for interpreting tarot cards the RIGHT way! It's such a pet peeve of mine when I watch a tv show or something where they draw the death card and they take it literally. So this book contains nudity, the occult and the supernatural. That is why this book is recommended for 16 and up. I'd say the same too. I'd recommend this for people over 16 who are interested in the gothic, and doesn't mind a bit of romance.
The book is just over 200 pages long, and the back of the book also has a short glossary and ''the making of''. Sprinkled throughout the story there are beautiful illustrations done by the author herself.
Links to buy: Paperback Hardcover Special Edition

Forgot to mention this in my review of The Night Of Elisa; In the beginning of the books it says ''This story is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to a living, dead or ''undead'' person is a mere coincidence!'' That made me giggle.
This was published two years after The Night Of Elisa, and you can definitely tell Isis Sousa's writing has improved. The writing flows better, and the tone isn't as ''modern'' anymore. It makes the story feel more realistic, as this one is also set in the 1800s. That also makes this a heavier read than The Night Of Elisa, but still not very heavy.
Henrique is a royal tailor in the kingdom of Iberia who is in love with the princess Catelyna. Sadly she is betrothed to a man Henrique despises, Augusto. Strange things start to happen to Henrique. He becomes ill, physically and mentally. And it makes him do bad things. He struggles a lot, cause he wants to do anything he can to make the princess happy.
Like Isis told me herself, the main focus is what happens to Henrique, that makes you wonder what is it that makes him do these things. I might have an idea of what it is, but we'll see in the next book! This book is more intricate than The Night Of Elisa, a little romantic, but very different. It's interesting to see the author's abilities to write different stories! Her other books are completely different as well.
I was a little confused about the story arc itself, it didn't seem to have that normal story arc. For the most part it goes kind of like a ''slice of life'' story, which changes location depending on where things are happening. But there are also a few peaks of complete and utter shock and terror, so I have to mention that there is a little gore in this story. I would recommend this for young adults.
The book is 340 pages long, and the text itself is way more ''compact'' than in The Night Of Elisa. Nice illustrations, reminds me of Pete Venters' illustrations in Jillian Venters' Gothic Charm School.

Links to buy: Paperback Hardcover

This was published in 2015, so in between The Night Of Elisa and As Cold As Thorns. So the writing is somewhere in between those two. This is a dark gothic short story, and it starts off abruptly, and it really gives me a Sleepy Hollow feeling. Lord Welton discovers that there has been a terrible carriage accident after a horrible storm, and takes the sole survivor, a young woman, to his home. Then strange things start to happen. All throughout the story things happen at a very fast pace, which I think is completely fine for a short story. It ended very suddenly as well! I was like WHAT. I would definitely read more about Eleanor! ISIS PLEASE WROTE MORE.

The story was a pretty easy read. I just read it in a PDF viewer on my laptop, and you could easily read this story in one sitting. I definitely recommend it if you're into gothic / horror / fantasy! This also has beautiful illustrations, but a lot different than in her other books. Contains a little nudity and descriptions of gore, so might not be suitable for younger teens.

Get it for free here!

So that was my reviews of three of Isis Sousa's works! Different stories, but all very dark and gothic. She also has art and photography books! Check out her website to know everything about her books!
Thank you so much Isis for sending me your books! And I hope we manage to meet soon!

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Alternative Outfits For Every Occasion

Hello, everyone! I don't know if anyone noticed or not, but I haven't blogged in a while. Mostly because nothing has really happened. I've spent a lot of time on the internet, and re-watching Murdoch Mysteries, one of my favorite shows of all time. I've also done a lot of online shopping lately! I plan to do a collective haul when everything arrives. There's tons of cool stuff!
But for now I thought I'd just give a little update and share photos from the past two weeks or so.

A photo I took for Gothicat. Today is world cat day, so you get 35% off with the code ''worldcatday''! I really recommend them, they have great stuff. Since I have shopped so much lately I won't buy anything today. But I'll go crazy at their stall during WGT!
Speaking of WGT, they have finally announced more bands! I'm so excited. It's now just under 3 months until we travel to Leipzig! If anyone else is going let me know, we can meet up!

Look for Sandra's 24th birthday.

Fancy drink art!

Tried ''absinthe'' for fun.
Proper absinthe isn't legal in Norway, sadly.
This was super weak, didn't louche and tasted minty.
The bartender didn't even know how to serve it LOL

A drink Sandra got!

Lazy outfit.

Chilling in bed watching Murdoch Mysteries!

Another simple outfit, but thought it worked well.

Now more badass!
Blazer - DIY
Necklace - Darkling Beloved
Top - Don't remember, might be second hand
Corset - Dracula Clothing
Skirt - Necessary Evil
Black stockings - Pierre Robert
Red fishnets - H&M
Boots - Demonia

This was also my valentine's look. Funnily enough I was wearing the same top last year, haha. What are the chances? We don't celebrate it, but we went out to eat with Simen's dad since he was in town. He gave me heart chocolates, haha!

Another simple outfit. I took in that shirt so perfectly to my body that I have a hard time getting it off over my boobs and shoulders, hahaha. The struggles of having a strawberry-shaped body.

And now the outfit I'm wearing as I type this!
It's the weekend, so why not dress up a little?
Necklace - Goodgoth
Crop top - No idea
Lace cardigan - Darxity
Corset - Dracula Clothing
Bustle skirt - Retroscope Fashions
Petticoat - Hell Bunny

Hope I didn't bore you! If I only have outfit photos on hand I usually don't like blogging, cause I feel it's just.. lack of content. I prefer writing bigger posts! So I'll just do it like this where I have tons of photos, hopefully it's more entertaining. Hope you still enjoyed it! Maybe you'll get some outfit inspirations. My outfits were the main topic of this post, so I'll just call it that. If you like that I do personal posts like this, let me know! Then I'll keep doing it and try to do more. Take care!

Friday, February 2, 2018

Supersoft Halloween Sugar Cookies!

Hello! Today I have something different for you. Many may not know that I love to bake (I hate cooking, so Simen does that). And for yule I got a Bodum food processor, so I thought I would take it for a spin by baking! And since Simen doesn't like chocolate, I decided to make something without that. I chose a sugar cookie recipe, featuring pudding powder, so I was really excited - and they turned out amazing! The recipe is from the book Love Manuela, which is only available in Norway.

You will need:
  • 230 grams softened butter (room temperature is best)
  • 230 grams powdered sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/4 deciliter sour cream
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sodium bicarbonate (baking soda?)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 450 grams flour
  • 50 grams vanilla pudding mix (I used 75 grams of caramel)
Take your corset off and put your apron on, and let's get started!

Process butter and powdered sugar in a food processor.
Add eggs and sour cream and mix together quickly.

Stir together baking powder, sodium bicarbonate / baking soda, salt, flour and pudding mix in another mixing bowl. Stir it into the butter and egg mixture. Knead the dough and make a big ball out of it. Cover it with plastic and put it in the fridge for at least one hour, preferably longer.

Roll out the dough with a rolling pin on a flour-covered working space. I needed A LOT of flour to do this, my dough was very sticky (might be because of the extra pudding powder). A metal scrape (I used a square metal spatula) is also very useful to gather the dough. Cut the dough into shapes, depending on what cookie cutters you have. I used halloween ones; a pumpkin, a bat and a ghost. Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes (depending on how big they are, I did 10-12) at 180 degrees Celsius.

If you want to, you could decorate these with a light icing.
The cookies should be nice and fluffy.
We let them rest with a kitchen towel on top, until they cooled down and became slightly firmer.
They kind of taste like the vanilla muffins I usually make!
When we ate some more about 12 hours later they had the perfect soft cookie consistency.

So soft and airy! You could eat tons of these.
Which is good, cause this recipe gave me 4 trays of cookies!

So that was really successful! Not everything I bake turns out super great (plus I'm a perfectionist), so I was really happy that these turned out pretty perfect! SO worth the time and effort. Plus the shapes are incredibly adorable! Halloween every day! I really recommend this recipe. If you try it out, let me know how it went, and show me the shapes you chose by tagging me on instagram! Happy baking!

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

H&M Goes Goth - Again? Haul & Try-On

Almost a year ago I published this post, and it somehow became one of my most read posts. And by chance, I'm doing another one! I was wearing some fishnets that I realized had now ripped to the point that they were unwearable. When the crotch rips, I just cut the top part off and use them with a garter belt. You could also wear it as a shirt, or use them as arm ''warmers''! But now they had even ripped in the toes, and I just can't handle that. I thought I'd check H&M and see if they had some fishnets on sale, and BOY, DID THEY. So I checked my H&M ''wait for sale'' wishlist, and found that a bunch of the stuff I wanted was on sale! Sadly some were sold out already, but I managed to get three outfits plus something for Simen for only 1000 NOK! So here they are:

As if we need any more JD UP prints...

New beanie and hoodie for Simen!
I will probably steal it a lot LOL

I've never had red fishnets before, so this was about time!
Now I have enough fishnets to last me a while.
The knee highs were actually knee high on me!

A gorgeous dress that fit perfectly!
I LOVE one-shouldered tops.
Why don't they make that anymore?

I also love off-the-shoulder tops.
I have big shoulders for my body, so I think it looks great on me.
This top has bra-wire in the cleavage, which is weird, but okay!
The top also fit me very well, even slightly tight around the shoulders.
The latex look skirt is super cute!

I wasn't sure about this top, but it was only 40 NOK.
I don't think it suited me very well, but I'll try to style it differently.
And isn't this mermaid pleather skirt gorgeous?!
It fits my small hips perfectly!
The inside of the long zipper is a little bulky, but I think I'll manage.

So that was our winter 2017 H&M haul! I absolutely love how gothic they have become lately, especially the past year. Super affordable too! So I definitely recommend goths to check out H&M and see what they have on sale. I've heard different places have different stuff, so the stuff you've seen here might not be available where you are. But use the website, it's so much easier. I personally hate shopping in physical stores, so I prefer that. This only took 4 days to be delivered! So I'm very satisfied with them. Now go check out their stuff before it's all gone!

What did you think of our haul?

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Matching Couple Piercings!

Okay, so this kind of happened on a whim, but kind of not. I used to have my lobes pierced as a kid, but gun + bad aftercare advice = forget about it. I've been wanting to get them re-done, and eventually get tons of ear piercings, but I've put it off, cause boring. But now that I have short hair and my ears are constantly visible, I thought why not? Simen has been wanting to get his pierced for a while, and eventually stretch them. So we decided to go get pierced the next day!

We went to Let's Buzz, where we got super great service. I let Simen go first, since these were going to be his very first piercings. The second he came out of the piercing room he looked SMOKIN'!
I didn't even feel it in my left ear, but I felt it in my right, as a big lump of scar tissue was punctured.
Simen got 2.4 mm right away, which was great since he's gonna stretch them later, plus the piercer thought a ''real man with long hair and a beard should have some size to them'', and it suits him really well! I got the 1.6 mm, so pretty standard. We both got rings, cause fuck studs. We ain't children!
Tadaa! Sucky car photo, but oh well.

Awkward in photos as always.
But looking good!

Selfie right before we went.
Gosh I don't look like myself anymore!

Oh and Simen told me he has ordered me this!
It's a discontinued Alchemy Gothic ring.
But he managed to find ONE and ordered it!
My god, he's the best.

Simple outfit from.. idk, some day earlier.
Modded Emilie Autumn tee - Asylum Emporium
Mermaid skirt - Thrifted
Striped stockings - Walmart around halloween

Had to take a new profile picture cause new hair.
I am badass.

Emma took this of me at Hanna's birthday celebration.
Do I look like Lisbeth Salander or do I look like Lisbeth Salander?

Oh and Sallie Serpentine (Salix) on Gothic Amino drew me!
Thank you so much!

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Pinky Paradise Haul & Review

Hello! Today I have a haul from Pinky Paradise to show you! They had their black friday sale for a long time, so I was able to take advantage of it! So here is everything I got!

5 different pairs, 6 pairs in total

These are the ones I'm currently using

So pretty! Sadly they only last 2 weeks each.

Adorable cases!

Perfect since I am now using a planner!

 ...and idk. But still cute

I have been using circle lenses since I was 16, when I got them from my optician in the Philippines. I became pretty addicted after that. I can see, and it's like wearing make-up! I used to wear them in all kinds of crazy colors, but as you can see, I stick to pretty natural colors now. My eyes are a pretty dark brown, so I use browns and blacks. I think this is the first time I order from Pinky Paradise, but I have used several of the brands before - I'm pretty sure I've used the very first pair before.

It took a month and two weeks for me to receive the lenses, which I consider a very long time, even for asian sites. But I think a bunch of time is because I was emailing back and forth with customer service. It was really weird, they kept saying they couldn't match the lenses because the base curve or color was different - for the SAME lenses. They never answered how this could be, and I ended up getting fed up with them asking me to pick alternatives for THREE pairs of lenses, so I just told them to send them to me. They were like ''But surely you don't want lenses that have noticeable differences?'' - I asked why again, and told them to just send them to me. They just said ok and sent them.

Other than that, it was all packaged really well, nothing was damaged, and I didn't even have to pay customs or tax when it arrived - I also ordered for over $49, so I got free shipping. I don't remember if all of them were on sale, but they were pretty cheap! I prefer buying circle lenses vs buying regular contact lenses here in Norway, it's way more expensive here.

For most of them the website states they last for 1 year. In my years of circle lens experience, this isn't true. Now, I use my lenses to be able to see, so I wear them every day all day. So for me they will last for a maximum of 4 months. If you just use them for special occasions, maybe they will last for 1 year, since ''halloween'' type lenses also say the same thing. I don't think they recommend you to wear them for more than 8 hours anyway. They might get a little dry after that point. Listen to your body, if your eyes are uncomfortable, take them off immediately. Looking good is not worth damaging your precious eyes. I always keep the contact lens case with solution and my glasses in my bag in case I want to take my contacts off while I'm out.

I have only opened one pair so far, I just want to use one pair at a time as long as they last. I expect to have enough lenses for little over a year forward - so next black friday will be the perfect time to stock up on more! ;) Customer service behaved a little weird, but I guess that's what you get with asian sites - That's why I'm usually skeptic to them (sorry, brethren). But I don't think I will completely dismiss this site, the products seem really good. They also have a good reward point system. I will probably order from them again.
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