5FF: Padme Amidala’s Mixtape

5FF: Padme Amidala’s Mixtape

If you’re participating in The Nerdy Girlie’s 5 Fandom Friday, you may have noticed a few of us have made some DLC’s (downloadable content) to complement the already lengthy blog prompt list courtesy of The Nerdy Girlie and Super Space Chick. You can check out my first DLC for 5 Fandom Friday: the GG Pack (the Geeky Gal Pack)!

Among all of the prompts listed, I really loved the idea of creating a playlist for character. Of course, I can’t just pick one so I’ll start with my dog’s name sake: Padme Amidala. While she’s got some haters, she’s still one of my favorite Star Wars characters. She was one of the youngest queens of her planet, a fashion icon, and one of the greatest heroes of the galaxy. She is not just Luke and Leia’s mother, but she was also a political bad ass. Without further ado, I present to you, Padme’s mixtape!

Continue reading “5FF: Padme Amidala’s Mixtape”

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Link Loves: Male Toxicity in Games, Star Wars Prequels, and a Marvel Studios Tour

Link Loves: Male Toxicity in Games, Star Wars Prequels, and a Marvel Studios Tour

Welcome to the eighth installment of Link Loves. These posts are 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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The Mental Attic takes on changing male toxicity in video games. With the new God of War released, The Mental Attic digs into games with male protagonists that lack emotions and feelings with examples from modern games like Deus Ex and Shadow Warrior to male protagonists that grow and show emotion like Kratos in God of War.

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AwksNerd takes us on a 5 point journey about how the Star Wars prequels benefited the original trilogy. As a big Padme Amidala fan (I mean, just ask my Chihuahua Padme), I really loved this list!

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Photo by Mama’s Geeky

Follow Mama’s Geeky on this incredible photo tour of Marvel Studios! from wall murals to memorabilia, this tour is amazing!

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Last minute Mother’s Day gifts? Nerdy Vegas Chic has got you covered! Perfect gifts for that geeky mom in your life.

What are your favorite links this week? Do you have a new favorite blogger? Let me know 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!

VGC Day 23: What game do you love to play with friends?

VGC Day 23: What game do you love to play with friends?

I don’t get the chance to play video games with friends too often. When I was younger, my brother and I loved fighting games like Soul Caliber and Mortal Kombat. However, I found most 2 player games lacking. It was pretty hard to find an enjoyable two player game that wasn’t a shooter.

A year ago, during a trip to visit my then-fiance/now-husband in Ireland, Alec introduced me to Lego Star Wars. It was pretty fun, and I didn’t have a problem with the game itself. The real fun came later when my husband arrived in the US. He introduced me to Lego Harry Potter.

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Initially I thought these games were just for young kids and had zero interest in playing them. That all changed one Saturday night on the couch when we popped in Lego Harry Potter Years 1-4. I loved playing this game. And I loved it even more playing with my husband as it really required some team work for puzzles, but we could both loot individually.

It was an experience to see Hogwarts as well as Diagon Alley and other locations in lego form. My favorite part is definitely being Hermione and using magic. The game makes it fairly simple to use magic, and the puzzles are really fun. Alec and I really have to pick this one back up for another Saturday game night.

Want to see more of the 30 Day Video Game Challenge? Want to try the challenge yourself? Read this post here!

What game do you love to play with friends? Let me know in the comments!

 

Link Loves: Harry Potter DIY, Hulk Snacks & Motivation

Link Loves: Harry Potter DIY, Hulk Snacks & Motivation

Welcome to the fourth 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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Come to the Nerd Side just put up an awesome DIY for Hogwarts House headbands! Check those out here! Photo courtesy of Come to the Nerd Side.

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Are you participating in the Marvel Movie Marathon with Popcorner Reviews? This Hulk Smash! Snack Mix is right up your alley! Get all the details on how to make this easy snack here! Photo courtesy of Popcorner Reviews.

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Le Geeky Liife is easily one of my favorite bloggers with her podcast RoundTable PodRacers. For #MotivationMonday, she created a post with some of our favorite girl power quotes from Star Wars! Photo courtesy of Le Geeky Liife.

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Ever wanted to make your own video game? Kim at Later Levels gives us a look at her dream development team! So much talent in one post! Photo courtesy of Later Levels.

The Mystery Blogger Award (+ Tags)

The Mystery Blogger Award (+ Tags)

I want to thank Meagan over at Quibbles and Scribbles for nominating me for The Mystery Blogger Award. She has an awesome Geeky Gift Guide up as well as TONS of reviews. Check her out!

The purpose of the award:

The mystery blogger award is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging; and they do it with so much love and passion.

The award was first started by Okoto Enigma.

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Rules

  •  Put the award logo/image on your blog.
  • List the rules.
  • Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well.
  • Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.
  • You have to nominate 10 – 20 people.
  • Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog.
  • Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny
  • Share a link to your best post(s).

Three Things About Myself

  1. I am married to a handsome man from Ireland. We both reside in St. Louis, Missouri in a house with one dog named Padme (from Star Wars, of course).
  2. I am a graphic designer and 3D modeler. I have a degree in Game Art and have been pursuing my career dreams for about 4 years now.
  3. Before I die, I want to create a video game that really touches people with amazing art. I want to work with fun and fantastic people on this project.

Meagan’s Questions

1. What part of blogging do you enjoy most? (i.e. writing, taking pictures, connecting with others, etc.)

I guess the part I enjoy the most is writing. It definitely feels like an outlet for me and I get to choose what I write about. It’s therapeutic but also fun!

2. How has blogging influenced your daily life?

I definitely take more pictures now, and things that I buy I usually think “should I review this for the blog?” We’re also designing a room in the house right now (The Library) where I’m going to start vlogging as an accompaniment to my blog (but that’s a secret so shhhh…).

3. Do you prefer blogging in the morning, afternoon, nighttime, or whenever you get the chance?

Strangely enough, I start in the morning then repeatedly come back to it until the afternoon. I get out all my thoughts like a word vomit then come back later, read it, adjust and edit, then start on the next post.

4. What is the one thing about your blog you wish you could change?

I wish I had more time to devote to it. I’d love to throw a Saturday Suggestion up every Saturday. I’d love to do some interviews of fellow geeks and cosplayers. There’s just never enough time in the day to give my blog the attention it deserves.

(Weird Q) Do you need noises to fall asleep or silence?

Depends on the “noises.” I don’t mind the faint sounds of a movie or radio. When it comes to the constant dripping of the spout outside the house that sounds like hammers hammering inside the bedroom, I want to rip it off with my bare hands…. But when it’s silent I find myself “listening” for things that go bump in the night. So noises I suppose, within reason.

My Current Best Post: Spoilers! Our Immigration Story So Far

My Nominations

Claire @ Critically Claire

The Dragon’s Tea Party

Kim @ Later Levels

John @ It’s More Than Just Gaming

Michelle @ A Geek Girl’s Guide

Mariah @ Bizarre Brunette

Jacie @ Come to the Nerd Side

Hannah @ The London Geek

My Questions

  1. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
  2. If you had to describe yourself using only 5 words, what would they be?
  3. What TV show, book, or game has most impacted you personally?
  4. If you could be any villain in a TV show, book, or game, who would you be and why?
  5. [weird] What strange food combinations do you really enjoy?

Please leave me a comment with your post so I can read your answers! Also, if I didn’t tag you, please feel free to do it anyway and leave a comment here with your post! Can’t wait to see everyone’s answers!