Take My Money :D

Fans of trains and felines enjoyed a trip with rescue cats recently, all for a good cause. Just last month, Gifu-based rescue cat cafe Sanctuary announced that it was teaming up with local train company Yoro Railway to create Japan’s very first Cat Cafe Train. The one-day event sold out in less than a day, with 80…

via Cat cafe train in Japan makes its inaugural run with rescue cats on board【Photos】 — SoraNews24

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A Moment of Synchronicity Today. . .

When I am prepping product for the next day’s shoot, and the product has the quote: Take the Road Less Traveled printed on it and while I am steaming said product,
this song starts playing on Pandora in the background.
Coincidence? Nah, I think it Synchronicity 😀

The question now is, what exactly could be coming my way????
Have you had any Synchronicity in your life lately?

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#kpopsurfshop

So what does #kpopsurfshop mean? I shall tell you! One of my best friends Sammie, owns an amazing surf shop in Ocean Grove, New Jersey called OG Surf & Skate. If you have been there, amazing and if not and you live in the surrounding area please check her out 😀 Also, I know summer is “technically” over but never to late!

Any who, back to the hashtag. Sammie is a huge Kpop fan and when you visit her most the time she has some Kpop MV’s playing in the background. Because of that and her healthy obsession, she has garnered the name Kpop Surf Shop. My geek heart loves her for it 😀 She is an amazing person and you should totally check her out, especially if you love EXO and BTS 😀 Her Photographs from the concerts she attends are to die for! Also, she has no idea I am even writing this post. . . he he 😀 My inspiration to write this post comes in the form of this hat she had made, FYI the Kpop band on the TV is Day6 😀

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So please peeps, if you are a Kpop fan help spread the word for #KpopSurfShop 😀

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Getting Con Ready: Some Tips & Tricks

The purpose of my post today is to talk about convention preparedness. Especially for those first time con goers. I know how daunting a con can be. I remember my first one. It was back when Otakon was still small. I was so anxious the whole day! Actually, it seemed so daunting, that I didn’t work up the nerve to cosplay until about 3 years later because it seemed like it was so much pressure and stress. Which actually is a fun and creative sort of stree. But anyway back to the purpose of this post, to help fellow con goers, I made a list of tips and tricks that I use to help me not only prepare but also survive through any con!

My biggest tip I can give is something that is really talked about a lot:

  • Be respectful of everyone and everything!!! I cannot stress this enough!!! Don’t bash someone’s cosplay, don’t body shame, please ask for permission for photos (especially in a food zone) and please don’t touch anyone. One of the biggest trending hashtags is cosplay is not consent.
    • Even though we choose to dress like that, it doesn’t allow someone to treat you as an object. So please be respectful to yourself, (if you feel uncomfortable express it and walk away,) other cosplayers, actually please just respect everyone, especially the staff. Oh, I have watched people yell and belittle con staff, they are usually volunteers and are doing their best to help, don’t be rude to them either.
    • For more information on cosplay etiquette check out this post I reblogged from the amazing Crazy4ComicCon —> Tip of the Day #23: Cosplay Etiquette
  • Business Cards: One thing that is really popular now, is handing out a form of business cards with your cosplay name, social media info and your own personal hashtag. This is really nice way to get your name out there. It is also an easy way to track any pictures people take of you. I mean you put all that work into them, show them off!
    • If you are not cosplaying, but are taking pictures, please ask the cosplayer for a card or their Instagram name. They will appreciate you taking the time to tag them and get their name out there.

So how do I get prepared? Here is my basic list:

  • My Cosplays.
    • Research – I am pretty crazy when it comes to getting every detail right for a cosplay. I research like crazy. I pull pictures of the character, I re-watch episodes or re-read manga. When I cosplay I like to be pretty spot on. I find it rewarding but I also like to switch things up as well. I find that doing research especially when it comes to the outfit and props is the best thing to do. I actually make a mood board post like this one –> Morgana Research
    • Sewing – Ugh, I am not someone who makes a costume over night. I am pretty cautious with my sewing. I do a little at a time, so I can get the look and fit just right. Don’t rush, give yourself plenty of time. It is actually really fun, when you are not stressing about it.
    • Prop Making – There are so many ways to make props now and days. My Pinterest account has a couple boards dedicated to DIY Prop making. I suggest you search Pinterest for ideas on how to make things. A lot of cosplayers have tutorials on youtube as well.
    • Wigs and Contacts – There are tons of wig tutorials on Pinterest and youtube. Styling and Caring for your wig is very important. I suggest getting a mannequin head so you can work on styling your wig. It is a great and cheap thing to own. So my favorite place to buy wigs is ArdaWigs. They have great quality wigs and awesome sales. They also have tutorials on their site. So I would check them out if you are unsure of something!
      • When it comes to circle lenses, I actually buy my contacts from PinkyParadise. They have great sales, but shipping can take a while. So if you are planning in advance they are wonderful! I have never had a problem with my contacts purchased here!
    • For your Feet- Wear comfy shoes! I cannot stress this enough, cons involve a lot of walking and standing! So bring comfy shoes. When I cosplayed as DeeDee from Dexter’s Lab. I wore pink flats and only wore my pointe shoes for pictures. If you don’t want to do that buy really good and comfortable insoles for your shoes. Anything to help alleviate the pain.
      • A trick a model taught me is tapping your toes together. From your big toe, you want to tape your 2nd and 3rd toes together. By doing this, you alleviate the pain in the ball of your foot. Strange? I know, but it works like a charm, especially if you are wearing heels.
  • Packing
    • I am the queen of over preparedness. I love Packing Checklists!
    • So when preparing for a con I usually pack two bags.
      • One is dedicated to my cosplay items, the other is dedicated to my civilian clothes and needs. I usually write a list of each cosplay and the accessories that go with each one. Heaven forbid you forget an important costume item! I also do this with my everyday things as well.
      • Sewing kit. Usually equipped with white, black, my cosplay colors and of course translucent thread. It helps cover the basic needs. Small scissors, multiple needles and a seam ripper.
      • Super Glue, Double Sided Body Tape, Nude Medical tape, and Aluminum Foil Tape. These really come in handy for everything! I am going to do a separate post on what is in my kit. But these are the basics that I always have on me 😀 Here is a link to my Kit List –> Stylist’s Kit
  • Remember Things Happen
    • Trust me. Props break, costumes break. Just don’t panic! That is why you keep a small kit in your bag or in a friend’s bag. Keeping your calm when something goes wrong makes all the difference! A mental Breakdown can ruin the rest of your weekend! Don’t let it!
      • For Example: Someone stepped on my CCS Gown and the zipper split all the way up the back. . . thankfully I had a ton of curved safety pins and my backpack covered the mishap. I kinda just laughed it off and didn’t let it ruin my day 😀
    • Also, be careful with transporting your props. My CCS Star wand broke on the way to Otakon and then fell during the day. Super Glue came in handy that day. That cosplay just seemed to want to fall apart on me. But I did not let it and justice prevailed because I was praised for how good it looked 😀
      • Speaking of props. Be mindful of carrying them and swinging them around. Hallways and walkways can be very crowded.
      • Props may seem light and easy to carry in the beginning but after walking around all day and posing, they start to feel heavy, bring something you can store them in, or see if one of your friend’s wouldn’t mind holding it for a bit.
      • Also, don’t touch or pick up someone else’s props. They are usually very delicate and if not handled correctly could break.
  • The Actual Convention
    • A con can be overwhelming. When it comes to planning the actual day or weekend, there is so much going on all the time! It can cause a lot of people anxiety with how much information is thrown at them.
    • To prepare for that, I usually check the website for schedules and events or I check and see if the con has a Guidebook.
      • Guidebook is an app for apple and android you can download and the convention can upload and update in real time, schedules, events and any changes that may occur and it even has alarms to remind you of things you favorited! Check it out here –> Guidebook
    • After all that, I then check with my friends and see if any of us have any common ideas and plan from there. A lot of times our plans go down the drain due to us finding something else, or lines. So be prepared to be flexible in your schedule.
    • Lines, Ugh, they can be the worst. They can be frustrating and long. Please do not try and cut the line. People get really offended and it is rude. To kill time we usually bring a card game (exploding kittens was a favorite), our Nintendo 3DS, and we have watched movies 😀 Also if we know in advance the line will be long we grab some food and eat during the wait.
      • It’s all about perspective and keeping yourself busy and happy. Actually, lines are also a good way to make new friends!
    • Speaking of making new friends, want to meet other cosplayers/peeps?
      • Check Facebook, Tumblr, and other social media/cosplay sites for information on meet-ups, group photoshoots and after parties. Just be careful and safe when going outside of the convention center.
      • For example the cosplay.com forums are a great place to meet people, trade tips and tricks, ask for advice and discover con meet-ups! Check it out here –> Cosplay.com/Forum
      • Also, you can find smaller local conventions, meet-ups or after parties on Eventbrite. You can check out what is happening in your area here —> Eventbrite: Discover Events or you could even jump head first and utilize this awesome platform and create your own event. Check out more about how do this here —> Eventbrite: Registration
  • Money
    • I always seem to have a problem with overspending at cons. When almost every vendor has the credit card app or paypal, it makes it so easy to just keep spending your hard earned paycheck.
      • Make a budget for food and drinks and if you are spending the weekend bring a case of water and your own breakfast/snack foods. That helps keep costs down.
      • Make a budget for how much you are willing to spend on items in the vendor areas and how much anything extra would cost. (ie photoshoot).
        • To help keep track of my spending, I actually took out cash and kept it in my bag. That cash was for anything I wanted from vendors. When it runs out, I was done. However, I still used my debit card for food. But that was a lot easier to keep track of.
      • Get Venmo. Venmo is a digital wallet, that makes paying your friends quick and easy. I know sometimes splitting the bill can be a headache for a server. With Venmo, one person can pay the bill and then everyone can just Venmo their share of the bill to whoever paid. It’s quick and easy and it makes the who owes who money at the end completely obsolete.

Well, that is really all I can think of right now. If anything more comes to me, I will create a follow up post to this one or if you have any tips and tricks for getting prepared please share them in the comments below and I will add those as well into the next post 😀

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When things go to Sh*t. . . I live for music

When the world seems like it’s pushing, I tend to escape into my imagination. This year, spotify has been my best friend. Allowing me to listen to whatever I feel like, and in which ever mood I may find myself in. Music really is a healing thing. I have always been drawn to music to help escape reality.

In regards to my fanfiction addiction, when I listen to music, I tend to connect a song with an anime or a situation and create a story that goes along with it.
Like for example, I love Yuri On Ice! and the first time I heard James Arthur’s Say You Won’t Let go, I just imagine an Omegaverse AU, where Viktor sings this to Yuuri or this is his exhibition tribute to Yuuri and his love. I heard the lyrics, and just thought of Episode 10’s banquet scene. I just think this song would be something Viktor would just do. But in some over the top, extra way.

I can just imagine how this would play out out. I have the setting and the dialogue.  Unfortunately, I just can’t seem to put it in writing. I have always been able to vividly imagine things, like a movie playing out in my mind’s eye. But I have the worst time writing them so eloquently and creating the imagery for other’s to not only understand, but to also get lost in. Well that and my grammar is positively horrid 😀

I would love to write my fanfiction fantasies. So if anyone has any advice on how to go about writing my visual stories, I would greatly appreciate it! I just can’t seem to express it on paper. Which is so frustrating!

Now do me a favor. Look at these photos and listen to the song at the bottom and leave me a comment on how you think Viktor would present this song to his katsudon 😀

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Creative Reminder: A little 90’s Grunge Testing

For a Photo Stylist, testing is an amazing thing. It allows you to branch out of your little box and be creative and to just have pure fun while you work. Now don’t get me wrong, I love my job! But having to constantly obey the rules of your client 5 days a week, 365 days of the year can be a little stifling to your creative self.

My last post was about how I lost that passion, and here is a post to help remind me of it. Last year, myself, my awesome photog, my hilarious digi-tech, my spunky HMU, and a beautiful model all came together for a fun shoot in Philly’s FDR Park 😄
Here is the result of that test, to remind me the fun and passion and creativity that lies within my job ♥️

I hope you enjoyed this glance into my mind. Stay tuned for more creative things to come. 

Oh and if anyone wants to collaborate on a test shoot, fashion or cosplay or anything just send me a message! I would love to work with you! 😁

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Creativity: Something I Lost This Past Year. . .

cre·a·tiv·i·ty noun
noun: creativity
  1. the use of the imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of an artistic work.
    Synonyms:inventivenessimaginationinnovation, innovativeness, originalityindividualityartistryinspirationvisionenterpriseinitiativeresourcefulness
    – Google Dictionary

    You are probably thinking to yourself: why the hell did she give the definition of creativity? Well it’s to remind myself exactly what it is.

I love being creative, which is why sewing and cosplay are some of my favorite past times and outlets. It allows me to forget the stress of being an adult and to focus on creating something beautiful, complex, and amazing. Something I can look at and go, yeah, I made that. So with that being said, this past year I have lost my creativity. It’s like I lost my soul. I have no inspiration or motivation. I just can’t think up ideas, or come up with cosplays. I mean what the heck!!!!! I am like a black hole of nothingness and it is really frustrating. I feel to stagnant in life.

So last weekend, I went and had a Tarot reading done with an amazing lady. The deck I choose to work with was Doreen Virtue’s Goddess Guidance Oracle Cards. Now, not saying you have to believe in this. But I very much do. I actually own the deck myself. I have been feeling lethargic and stuck the last month. I am so relieved to have gone and had this done because, this reading gave me insight on what I need to look at to move forward too. Things I need to do for myself to be more successful in my life. The biggest thing I left with after my reading is: I need to be creative again. I need to unleash my imagination by writing, dancing, or sewing. I just need to create and meet people who have the same interests as myself! So we can motivate each other in being creative.

So, this post is to warn you. I am going to be posting really random ideas now. Maybe Short Prompts for myself, a horribly written fanfiction here or there, or even some v-log posts. All I ask to anyone who actually follows me or reads these. Be gentle. I am not trying to make money or anything. I just want to get my creativity moving once again 😀

So thank you all and I apologize for the coming posts. They will be hellish 😀

Something for me to remember:

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Bodyboss Workout… Is it worth it?

So, I know I said in my previous post that I have Hypothyroidism. Now that my energy and hormones seem to be working as one again, my biggest problem is getting a work out. Like many hypothyroid sufferers, I am having problems losing the weight I gained.  I am sadly out of shape for being only 28 years old. I have to catch my breath when I walk up stairs (sad? I know right?).

I did hold a gym membership and I think I went twice. By the time I get home from work,  make dinner and eat, I have no energy to go to the gym and workout. So I cancelled that and now we have a home gym in our new basement and I have only used it twice. I just have no motivation and I really need a swift kick in the ass to get my physical body back.

I know I am rambling, so back to the point of this post. I keep seeing advertisements for Bodyboss. It is a 12 week program to get you into shape. The trainings are 24 minutes long and you do them 3 times a week and their are 4 unique exercise combinations: Bodyweight Resistance Exercises, Plyometric Exercises (Jumps), Cardio, and Unilateral Exercises.  Here is a link to their Website: Bodyboss

So I am wondering if anyone out there is in the midst of the workout or anyone has completed it, is this worth buying and trying? In the past, I have tried workouts and regimes but nothing really stuck and I am wondering if this is a good thing to use for not only quicker results but something I can use long-term.

Please, Please, Please, anyone who can help is welcome to leave me a comment or a message. Now, that I am feeling better, I need to get my body there as well 😀

Thank you so much in advance!

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It’s Been Far too Long. . .

So, I believe my last post was last October. . . Wow, how time flies.
This year has been a bit crazy. My health hasn’t been the best. After feeling out of it for a about 5 years now, my doctors have discovered the root cause . . . drum roll. . . I have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, an auto-immune disease. Or simply put I have hypothyroidism and apparently, the mono I caught my freshmen year of college is likely the culprit that triggered the problem. (ew college dorm germs). Any who, it has been a little bit over a year now, and with some adjustments to my medicine and some small diet changes (rip my sugar highs) I am feeling better than ever! So yay to that! I am feeling more like my crazy hyper self than ever. It’s amazing, when people tell you they wish they had your energy, especially after feeling so lethargic for a long time.

I am also sad to admit that I had no cosplay plans this year or any conventions to go to. My fiance and I bought a house a little over a year and a half ago. Which is amazing!
But my horrendous student loan debt came out of deferment and between them and my bills, there is no money for vacas or cons 😦 I swear, I lose sleep over my student debt. I have an MBA and nothing really to show for it, except being poor.

Ah, one awesome thing I am in love with this year, Yuri On Ice! #Vikturri4ever. I absolutely love that show and the fandom and I think I have over 300 bookmarked YOI fanfictions on my AOO account. #noshame

Well, I have no excuses for not keeping up with my blog. But now that I have the energy and the enthusiasm, I am excited to be back on.

So I hope you look forward to my random ramblings 😀

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10 places in Japan so beautiful it’s practically hard to take a bad picture while you’re there — RocketNews24

Nine locations to visit right now, and one to save for the spring. Whether you’re capturing the images that perfectly represent your personal relationship with the country or just taking some cool snaps to share on Instagram, Japan offers some amazing photography venues. With the weather entering the magical not-too-hot, not-too-cold sweet spot, there’s no…

via 10 places in Japan so beautiful it’s practically hard to take a bad picture while you’re there — RocketNews24