Stay-cation Essentials for Introverts

Stay-cation Essentials for Introverts

I will be the first to admit that I forget to take care of my mental health. I go, go, go until I’m all out of energy and have none left to give which is a big no-no for introverts like me. Self love and self care need to become a part of my routine. It’s all about taking time to rest, relax, and recharge. Sometimes that means saying goodbye to friends and family as you shut the door to your home and become unavailable for a weekend.

Say hello to my introverted, geeky stay-cation. Once a month, I will be going on my mini vacation at home for my mental health. It’s a little something for my husband and me to spend time together, but it’s also for me to recharge. Here’s a sample of all the things we have planned and how you can do it too!

Spa Time

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I’m a lucky girl thanks to my husband in so many ways. For my birthday he got me several handmade bath bombs. I’ve only been able to use one since January. I’m looking forward to trying them all out now! This is a great time to decompress and just be by yourself. Light some candles and shut the door. This is for you.

bath bombs // bath pillow or rolled yoga mat // relaxing playlist // favorite book or comic

Movie Night

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Whether it’s an episode of Black Mirror, several episodes of Law & Order: SVU or the latest Marvel/Disney movie, Alec and I always wind up on the couch watching something right after work. It’s one of the ways we decompress after a long work day. What better way to relax on a stay-cation than to plan a movie night complete with all the fixings and the environment of home where you can take off your shoes and pants!

movie // blankets // popcorn // candy // soda // pizza // pajamas

Plan Meals and Cook

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We don’t eat out that often, and it’s a great way for us to save a little money. Plus I usually enjoy cooking. I say usually because I’m a lazy cook. As I’m on a weight loss journey, I try to find recipe blogs that are healthy, low calorie, and easy. These all fit the bill. But when you’re on a stay-cation, you can take the time to cook with your SO and make it fun! Why not try making your own pizzas from scratch or yummy Chinese “take-out?” Grab your grill and make some kebabs or hobo dinners on the grill. Make it match your movie night or create a theme night! Whatever you’ve been craving, find a recipe and make it!

slow cooker // griddle // cookbook

Take Photos

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We take pictures on vacation so why not on a stay-cation? Your home can be just as insta worthy as the beach or a hotel. Some cool photo opportunities might be:

  • bath bomb video
  • bath tub filled with bubbles and surrounded with candles
  • flat lay of your book, bath bombs, and candles
  • screenshot your relaxing playlist
  • flat lay of your pajamas, the movie, and some treats
  • selfie in your pajamas under the blankets with a tub of popcorn between you and your SO
  • the title of the movie as it comes on the screen
  • long table shot of all the goodies you’re partaking in
  • photos of each other cooking in the kitchen
  • shots of the meal being prepared
  • flat lay of the meal
  • selfies of your silly faces before digging in
  • and whatever else you can think of!

hands free shutter control // HD camera lens kit // phone tripod

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5 Fandom Friday: The 5 Geekiest Things I’ve Ever Done

5 Fandom Friday: The 5 Geekiest Things I’ve Ever Done

It’s been awhile since you’ve seen a 5FF post! Needing to get over some writer’s block had me revisiting the original 5 Fandom Friday girls: The Nerdy Girlie & Super Space Chick. See this post for a list of the prompts! If you’re already participating in 5 Fandom Friday, you may have noticed a few of us have made some DLC’s to complement the already lengthy blog prompt list. You can check out my first DLC for 5 Fandom Friday: the GG Pack (the Geeky Gal Pack)!

I had a hard time trying to narrow this down to just 5 things. From my birthday present this year being Hermione’s wand (which lights up with a flick of your wrist) (also, thanks Mom!) to planning a trip to Japan on Pinterest, there’s just too many every day geeky things that I do to have such a small list! I’ll give it my best shot; here’s my top 5 geeky things I have ever done.

Write Fanfiction

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I’m sure everyone has written fanfiction at some point… No? Just me? Damn. I had an account when I was about 12 or 13 that was just terrible. Not the account itself but my writing was horrendous. I ended up creating a new account on Fanfiction.net. I wrote Over Oceans which was inspired by my long distance relationship and my love for MMORPGs (imagine my frustration when I received a review that alluded I had never played a video game). My readers are still asking for new chapters 4 years later and, while I feel terrible for having an unfinished story, my heart is no longer in it, and my writing style has changed.

Maybe one day I’ll return to Over Oceans and give it the ending it deserves.

Attend a Convention

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Photo by Megan Price – AWA 2015

I’ve been to three anime conventions so far. My very first one was KamiCon 2013 in Birmingham. I went with one of my best friends and Alec, and we had a blast! We swore we’d cosplay the next go around. An opportunity fell in my lap to go again: MomoCon 2013 in Atlanta with Alec and my brother. Two cons in one year was more than my otaku heart could take. It was 2015 before I would go again. This time, my cosplay dreams came true.

Cosplay

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Photos by Alec Magee – AWA 2015

It was my dream to cosplay Asuna from SAO and I finally got the chance! I did tons of research and even made a few blog posts on cosplay and conventions: attending your first convention, your first cosplay, and how to buy your cosplay online. It was a magical moment to have people ask for my picture and to be on Crunchy Roll for a few minutes (and to see the users light up the screen screaming my character’s name and telling me that I was cute was a confidence booster). I can’t wait to do it again!

Participating in a Kingdom Hearts Panel

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Photo by Alec Magee – AWA 2015

So not only did Alec and I have to wait to see if we’d even be let into this panel for over 30 minutes (even foregoing another event), but once we got in, the panel was a bit of a let down. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve attended several panels, and they’ve always been interesting. We just thought this KH panel would be… more. We barely got to talk, and most of the discussion was centered around “what if’s” for 2.8 and III. Regardless though, we still had fun chatting with other fans, and it was a one of the geekiest things I had ever done.

Buy Anime Figurines

Alec inadvertently started this. For my birthday about 4 years ago, he bought me a wonderful chibi Asuna from SAO. She was adorable and came with a million parts. I loved it! And I just wanted more. I’ve only bought one other figurine since then but Alec has collected a few as well. I can’t to have the space to properly display them and expand our collections.

Bonus: This blog

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Yes, this blog counts too! My very first blog was personal and very introspective. A Geeky Gal has become my special place on the internet since then and has become my favorite place to talk about all the things I love. My niche. My favorites. Everything.

What are the geekiest things you’ve ever done? Tell me in the comments!

AGeekyGal’s Cosplay Guide: Buying a Cosplay Online

AGeekyGal’s Cosplay Guide: Buying a Cosplay Online

So you want to buy a cosplay online and have no idea where or how to start? I’ll break it down for you and even discuss my own experience with buying cosplay online. If this is your first cosplay, start here!

Unfortunately, I don’t know how to sew (as may be your case as well). My first ever cosplay was in September of 2015. I agonized over this costume. I wanted to make it myself and had saved tons of tutorials to my computer. I was determined I was going to make my cosplay… Until I realized I didn’t have a sewing machine and literally had no experience with one. That’s okay though. I’ve since bought my cosplay and plan on revisiting it later when I’m more skilled and knowledgeable to handcraft it like I had originally planned (maybe).

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Before you consider buying your cosplay online:

  1. Press Start. Ask your fellow cosplayers! Ask your friends and family! Where do they buy their cosplays? Are there sites or sellers or commissioners they would recommend? Do they have cosplays for sell? Would they mind helping you make your cosplay? Start in your immediate circle before branching out. You’d be surprised that you may not even have to buy your cosplay from a website!
  2. Research. Take this time to Google what you can. Write down site names, look for reviews on these sites (youtube and the reviews on the sites themselves are good places to start), and cross off the poorly reviewed ones. There’s also groups on Facebook that have cosplays and wigs for sale, offer commissions, etc. Check out the blacklist in these groups too; if they don’t seem to have one, message a moderator and ask for the list. Those are the people you shouldn’t do business with. If you choose to go the Facebook route, pay with PayPal using Goods & Services. The seller will pay the fees and if anything goes wrong, you can file to get your money back with PayPal.
  3. Check out commissions. If you know someone, or even someone who knows someone, who has a portfolio to show off their sewing and crafting skills, it wouldn’t hurt to get your cosplay priced out by them. Keep in mind that you’ll most likely be paying for materials and labor, not just materials! You’re paying for high quality work here too. This cosplay should last and last (with the right seamstress).

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When you buy your cosplay online:

  1. Look for your costume specifically. What I mean is: look up the costume by your character’s name and the name of the show. You’ll get better, filtered results this way. No one wants to dig through hundreds of pages for a Sailor Moon costume with things like “crescent moon necklaces” and “lunar eclipse sunglasses” popping up alongside the actual costumes.
  2. Look at the reviews for your costume. Say you’re on AliExpress. The store you’re shopping with has high reviews and lots of favorites! Sounds like it’s pretty reputable. Now, when you get to your costume, look at its reviews. These are separate from the stores reviews and favorites. Sometimes they’ll even have pictures with reviews which I love and count on the most. This helps you know what you’re really getting!
  3. Compare prices. Now it’s time to really utilize those browser tabs! Find your cosplay on several pages and compare the prices! Lower is not always better but it’d good to know the average price for the cosplay itself.
  4. Get out the tape measure. You’ll need to measure yourself for the best fit. Most likely your cosplay will be in standard Chinese sizes which differ from what you’re used to! So get out that fashion tape measure that you bought years ago and take your measurements: neck, chest/bust, waist, hips, arm, inseam. See this link here for how to measure yourself!
  5. Compare your measurements to the provided sizes. Click on the sizing chart. Most cosplays should have a sizing chart available. If not, contact the seller for one. Now most people will be between sizes. My personal rule of thumb is to buy the size that accommodates my largest measurement which is my hips. I can get the rest of the cosplay tailored if needed.  The flipside is to think about how the cosplay should fit you: Should it drape and flow? Should it be tight and form fitting? Using your measurements, choose the best size for you. Another option is to see or ask the seller if they offer custom sizing, then you can give your measurements to the seller. Always add a little wiggle room in your measurements if going with a custom option!
  6. Email the seller any questions. Ask them about sizing, fabrics, shipping, when you would receive it, or anything you need to know before you place your order. This is a great opportunity to feel out the seller and make sure you’re getting what you pay for!
  7. Order the closest size to your measurements. After double checking your measurements and asking the seller all of your questions, it’s time to place your order!

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After your cosplay arrives:

  1. Carefully inspect the cosplay and all the accessories. First insure that you have received the full cosplay you ordered. Check that all pieces are accounted for. Next, check for loose threads, glue, missing buttons, stains or anything that is not right. Take photos of any damage for reference. Unfortunately, things happen, and if your cosplay is damaged or missing pieces, it’s time to email the seller. If everything is right…
  2. It’s time to try it on. Hopefully those measurements were right and your new cosplay fits like a glove… or however it’s supposed to! Take pictures of the front, sides, and back to make sure it all fits right. If it’s uncomfortably loose in some areas, it’s time to take it to the tailor. If it’s too tight, double check the measurements and politely contact the seller.
  3. Test it with your wig, shoes and make up. Once your cosplay is the right fit, it’s time to put it all together before the con. Make last minute adjustments and buy any necessary accessories.
  4. Leave an honest review. Just do it! Now everyone else can find a great cosplay and reliable seller like you.

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Places to buy your cosplay from:

  • Facebook Groups – Before doing a search for your cosplay and size, take a look at all the files and documents for the group. This should include a blacklist. Stay away from anyone on that list! They are a no-go for purchasing your cosplay. Ask for pictures of the cosplay and up close pictures of damage. Always use PayPal’s goods and services when purchasing from individuals. They will get charged a small fee, but PayPal protects you if something goes wrong. If a seller asks you to pay through PayPal’s friends and family, it might be a scam!
  • Etsy – Choose a shop with tons of reviews and read them all: the good and the bad. Take into account the complaint and how the seller handled the situation. Look at their listings and note the quality of their skills. If you’re still unsure, send them a polite message about the cosplay they have listed.
  • Ebay – Be wary if you decide to go the Ebay route. See if anyone has purchased the cosplay before and see if they wrote a review. Read all the rates and feedback on the seller before making a purchase and don’t be afraid to ask for more pictures or precise measurements! Many times stock photos will be used over and over again so check that if the seller is using a stock photo that their own logo is on it.
  • AliExpress – This site should come with a big, fat warning sticker. Be aware that everything ships from China and could takes months to arrive. Research any shops you’re considering buying from. Read all the reviews on the shop then all the reviews on the cosplay. Try to find reviews with pictures. Research the hell out of this one before making a purchase.
  • Other sites: EZCosplay, CosplayMagic, Uwowo, CosplaySky, Hello Cosplay, Amazon, HotTopic

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Some tips:

  • Don’t let anyone make you feel bad for not making your cosplay.
  • Make sure your cosplay is comfortable for sitting, standing, and walking.
  • Do your research on any and every seller and website.
  • When leaving a review, add photos.
  • Iron your costume (if possible) before the con. Shipping adds folds to the garment and a quick ironing will take them out!
  • Now get out there and cosplay!

Got any tips for buying a cosplay online? Share them in the comments!

Link Loves: Star Trek, Women’s History Month, and Frustration with Non-Gamers

Link Loves: Star Trek, Women’s History Month, and Frustration with Non-Gamers

Welcome to the fifth installment of Link Loves. This post is all about my favorite links of the week! It can include bloggers, articles, news, clothing, accessories, and other cool links I’m enjoying.

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Matt at Normal Happenings wrote a phenomenal post about Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and the underlying theme of carrying on despite everything trying to tear you down or trip you up. With my grandfather’s sudden passing and a job that never feels secure, Matt’s post felt like a life boat, coming just in the nick of time. Give it a read. You’ll be glad you did.

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Luna over at GamersUnitedGG wrote a fantastic post on female video game characters in honor of Women’s History Month. From Ms. Pacman to Samus Aran, she gives a look at some of our favorite and influential female characters from the 80’s and 90’s. Give it a read and comment with your favorite female game protagonist!

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Rockker66 has taken on the 30 Day Video Game Challenge! Day 5 is “What is your guilty pleasure game?” Check out this post for all the details on Rockker66’s guilty pleasure. Don’t forget: you can still participate in the challenge! Make sure to link my blog so I can like, comment, and give your post a shout out!

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Fan Art by MessyPandas

In case you didn’t know, I’m a HUGE fan of Doctor Who. I am beyond excited for Jodie Whitaker’s Doctor. I also love the gals over at The Ultimate Guide to the Fashion of Doctor Who who put together this awesome list of fan-made title sequences for the new Who.

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Megan at The Dragon’s Tea Party graces us with another #rant. Man, do I love a good rant. She talks about her frustration at non-gamers and their perception of the gaming world and gamers. I’m sure it’s all things you’ve heard before and frustrations you’ve experienced. It’s good to see someone put it down in words.