Everyday Cosplay: Louise Belcher

I love Bob’s Burgers. It’s one of my favorite shows on television, and it’s my go-to show if I need a pick me up after a bad day. While I love just about every character on that show, one of my favorite characters is Louise.

evil

She’s hysterical. She’s sarcastic. She’s clever. She’s a little evil. And to top it off, she’s voiced by the hilarious Kristen Schaal. So as I’m still noodling over what outfits I want to wear to Denver Comic Con this year, I got the idea of this low-key everyday cosplay as a tribute to my one of my favorite Belchers. It’s perfect for wearing to a summer convention!

Everyday Louise Belcher

 

 

Obviously, the look includes a ring that doubles as your bunny ears and a weapon–just like Louise would want–and I’ve included a hoodie to the look for maximum comfort when you’re inside a highly air-conditioned room or if some stupid boy steals your bunny ears.

Who is your favorite Belcher? Why do you love them? Let me know in the comments! 

Celebrate Administrative Professionals Day With Chris Hemsworth

Happy Administrative Professionals Day!

If you’ve ever spent some time in an admin role like I have, you’ll be agree that the role can often go unappreciated, despite an admin’s vital part in keeping the company running smoothly. Admins and assistants like to joke about doing nothing more than filing and getting coffee, but they do behind-the-scenes stuff and occasional administrative grunt work that those in higher positions won’t (or can’t) do themselves. So as we’re celebrating the unsung hero of office life, let’s talk about Kevin, the administrative professional that is (sort of) keeping the Ghostbusters office afloat.

Okay, so maybe Kevin isn’t the shining example of administrative professionalness that we’re celebrating today, but Kevin looks like he’s a hilarious addition to the characters in the new Ghostbusters film. Turns out Chris Hemsworth’s not only a Norse god, but also pretty freaking hilarious. I can’t wait to see him onscreen with Melissa, Kate, Leslie, and Kristen. Here’s the trailer, in case you haven’t watched it yet:

What do you think of the new Ghostbusters movie? What do you think of Hemsworth’s role? Are you doing anything special to celebrate the administrative professionals in your life? Let me know in the comments, and be sure to watch Ghostbusters when it hits the big screen on July 15!

Denver Comic Con 2016:THE OUTFITS

Denver Comic Con is getting closer everyday, so that means it’s time to start thinking about what I’m going to wear. Since I go as press–and because sewing is my bane–I like to go to DCC in everyday cosplay. For last year’s convention, I ended up choosing to dress in Heisenberg everyday cosplay and Scarlet Witch everyday cosplay (I had big plans for doing Black Widow everyday cosplay, but that didn’t work out). So while I’ve got loads of other everyday cosplay outfits set up that I’ve done here on the blog and on Geek & Sundry, I wanted to create a couple of other options to potentially join my outfit lineup for Denver Comic Con 2016. Here they are:

Everyday Low-Key Hamilton Trash

Okay, so this is technically more of just an outfit, but I love this top that I got from Jordandene, and so I had to create an outfit to go around it. I’ve done Hamilton everyday cosplay before, but this shirt is too cute to not wear to big events like DCC.

Everyday Low-Key Hamilton Trash

 

Everyday Melisandre

You will have to provide your own 400 year-old body if you really want your everyday cosplay to be authentic.

…probably real fire, too, not just fire-inspired jewelry, though I don’t recommend that. You do you though.

Everyday Melisandre

 

Everyday Jenny Flint

I’ve been obsessed with this outfit since the moment I saw this episode. I just love the leather and lace Victorian superhero outfit look. Green ring for Jenny’s Silurian wife, Vastra, obvs.

Everyday Jenny Flint

 

Everyday Rey

Hot Topic and Her Universe just released their limited edition Force Awakens clothing line, and one of my favorite pieces (though there were many) was the Rey sweater. I don’t know what Rey has against proper sleeves, but I like her style.

Everyday Rey Cosplay

 

Snape-Ricot

Are you going to Denver Comic Con this year (buy tickets here)? With guests like Stan Lee, Jenna Coleman, Arthur Darvill, Alex Kingston, Karl Urban, Clark Gregg, and more this year’s convention is going to be GREAT. Let me know if you are going. I’d love to say hi! Even if you can’t go to the convention and you’re in the Denver area, be sure to hit up the 2016 convention beer launch for this year’s brew, Snape-ricot, at Breckinridge Brewery on Lincoln Street!  I love that this year’s convention brew is honoring the late Alan Rickman, and it sounds like it will be a pretty tasty beer! If you want to attend, there’s no charge to get in, the first 200 people to order the con beer get a special pint glass for free, and the artist behind the AMAZING Snape-Ricot pint glass artwork, Frankie Serna, will be there to sign your glass. And, of course, there will also be some awesome music by the Gin Doctors and Red 5.

What do you think of these looks? Do you have any suggestions of everyday cosplays I should try to Denver Comic Con? Are you dressing up for a convention this year? Tell me about all your convention plans in the comments! 

3 Things I Want For the New Doctor Who Comapnion

Unless you’ve been trapped in solitude all weekend, chances are solid that you heard a new companion has officially been named. The companion is called Bill, and she’s played by the actress Pearl Mackie. I wrote about her a bit on Geek & Sundry over the weekend.

Doctor-and-Bill.jpg

Image credit: BBC

Even though we’ve got to wait until 2017 for the new season of Doctor Who (though there will be a Christmas special this year, so maybe we’ll see Bill there), all of our Whovian brains are racing as we imagine what kind of a companion Bill will be, and what adventures she and the Doctor will have together. While I don’t share the Clara-hate that a lot of Whovians had, I will admit that she had a tumultuous run with the Doctor. That original “Impossible Girl” story line made her more of a weird anomaly throughout the Doctor’s timeline rather than an actual character, and it wasn’t until her final season that I really started to love her. Jenna Coleman is a great actor, and I think she could have sealed herself a higher ranking in the “favorite companion” leaderboard had she started her run as companion as more than just a puzzle for the Doctor to solve. Clara, once she was fleshed out as a character, was reckless, she was caring, she was brave, she was snarky, she was loving, she was sarcastic, and she was everything I love in companions.

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It kind of frustrated me, actually, because I felt like so much time was wasted on guessing who–or WHAT–Clara could be. The awkward crush she had on Eleven, the Impossible Girl thing, feeling weird about Twelve because he was old, all of that got in the way of what turned out to be a really fun Doctor/Companion run there at the end. I don’t want that for Bill. Here’s what I hope we see once she officially boards the TARDIS:

No Romance

Eleven and Clara

I loved watching Nine/Ten and Rose’s romance. It was sweet, even though we all knew that it would ultimately end in heartbreak. However, that gooey romance has sort of tainted the Doctor and Companion romance thing for me. Martha’s run as companion got lost, I felt, because there was that awkward “rebound companion” behind everything they did together. When she left the TARDIS on her own accord, I cheered her on because frankly, the Doctor was kind of stringing her along. Then with companions like Donna and the Ponds, we saw how fun–yet still highly meaningful–it can be to watch the Doctor travel with someone who is just a friend and nothing romantic. I got why Clara crushed on Eleven. I get it dude, Matt Smith’s adorable, easy on the eyes, endearing, and he can pull off short pants and “delicate” eyebrows better than anyone. But we all knew the Doctor didn’t fully return Clara’s affections–after all, this was still the age of River Song. Then when Eleven regenerated, everything was weird between Clara and Twelve for a bit because of that crush. The Doctor–especially this Doctor–needs a friend, needs family, far more than he needs a girlfriend. It can get awkward when the Doctor has to navigate a companion crush, so I hope Bill and Twelve are just mates. Plus, I’m not really ready to see him with anyone but River just yet.

She’s Just a Regular Human

important

In the Doctor Who universe, it gets repeated over and over again how important the Doctor finds each individual he meets. That’s part of the show’s appeal: everyone’s important. Rose loved the Doctor, Martha was his friend who pushed him from heartbreak, Donna was simultaneously the best temp in Chiswick/the most important woman in the universe/and the Doctor’s best mate, and the Ponds were the Doctor’s family. So taking Clara and making her something more than a human who works her way into the Doctor’s hearts felt…unnecessary. The Doctor doesn’t pick companions because they have some secret identity or skill. The Doctor finds his companions special and important because he thinks everyone is important and special–which leaves room for the companions to grow and develop as characters, and ultimately help the Doctor grow. I want Bill to be a regular human, and not a puzzle or problem for the Doctor to solve. I want to see her evolve during her time with the Doctor like an actual human, to see how her presence changes the Doctor, and not for the Doctor to simply work his way to a solution with her.

No Fearing the Doctor

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I’ve really grown to love Twelve, but a huge difference between Eleven and Twelve is how rough Twelve is around the edges. Everyone wanted to go up and give Eleven a hug. The dude invented a dance called “the drunk giraffe”, and we refer to him as Raggedy Man. That’s SO not Twelve. Twelve doesn’t do hugging (except with Clara), he doesn’t tolerate most people,  he’s got biting sarcasm (one of the reasons I love him), he’s not even consistently nice to those he’s closest with (like Clara), and he’s even had to give himself cards to react appropriately in delicate emotional situations. Clara and Twelve’s first season was tough to watch sometimes because Clara would treat Twelve like she did Eleven. She let him get away with a lot, she let him treat her terribly, and she didn’t really stand up for herself. After all, Twelve can be a bit intimidating. The relationship felt a bit toxic, and not fun at all. However,  once Clara finally stepped up and stopped allowing Twelve to do whatever the hell he wanted whenever the hell he wanted, everything got better. He treated her respectfully, she pushed him to be better, and they were fun to follow on adventures. Bill needs to not be afraid of the Doctor (who may still be emotionally raw as he’s mending broken hearts after losing Clara), and not be afraid to call him out when he’s being crazy. The Doctor’s companions keep him good, and Bill needs writing that lets her keep him good.

It can take some time for the Doctor and his new companion to find their groove together, and I’m excited to watch Bill and the Doctor become friends. I can’t wait to see what kind of a character she’ll be, how she’ll evolve during her run in the TARDIS, and what kind of an impact she’ll have on the Doctor and the universe. New episodes of Doctor Who cannot get here soon enough! What do you think of Bill? What are you looking forward to seeing in the new season? What do you hope to see with this new companion? Let me know in the comments!

What You Actually Experience at the Doctor Who Experience

I’m writing again about my time in Europe (I previously wrote a post with a few European travel tips, and I also wrote a post about geeky UK travel on Geek & Sundry). I’ve put a couple of my pictures here on the blog, but you can see LOADS more photos from my European adventure on my Instagram. The hashtag is #KenInEurope.

While I got to see a TON of amazing bits of European history, architecture, and culture, I made sure to get a solid dose of geekery into my travels. One of the places I had to be SURE to hit was the Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff, Wales. Honestly, you guys, I was so excited to take part in the Experience, actually setting foot into the building bordered on emotional for me–though that could have just been a result of the exhaustion/jetlag and gnarly blisters that were forming on my feet. Either way, it was so fantastic when I saw the giant building looming overhead.

DWE Building

I had bought my tickets ahead of time (which I recommend you do, though they have several tours leaving throughout the day, I’d hate to travel all the way to Wales only to fine they’re sold out. Plus, it’s 16 pounds at the door versus 14 pounds ahead of time). I backpacked my way through Europe, so I was thrilled to find that they let me in and through the experience with my backpack (which is good–I would have had literally nowhere else to put it had it been against the rules). All in all, the experience was magical and highly timey-wimey. So what can you expect when you immerse yourself in the Experience?

You will assume you can walk to the Experience from the train station, and soon realize you cannot–at least, it would be a walk that is WAY longer than you’re okay with.

If you’ve got yourself a rental car or you’re cool with taking a taxi everywhere, you’re set. However, if you’re relying on Uber, don’t. They don’t have it yet. If you’re thinking you’ll walk from the train station (we traveled to Cardiff via train from London), you also probably shouldn’t do that either. It’s a bit of a hike, and if it’s raining, the rain will likely be intense.

You will discover they have a bus that runs from the train station to the Experience–the Number 6 bus. You will scrounge through your pockets to find 1 pound 80 because the bus stop sign says it takes exact change only.

And no, they don’t take credit cards.

Then, you will notice a sign that says to flag the driver down if you wish to board the bus. You will think this is meant for those wishing to board the bus in between stops, and that obviously the bus will stop at its designated stops. You will be wrong.

Seriously, FLAG THE DRIVER DOWN. Turns out that, though you are standing at the bus stop, the bus doesn’t automatically stop at its designated stops. It only stops if there are people signaling that they’d like to get on the bus. Make sure you signal him so he has enough time to see you, register you need the bus, and safely stop at the bus stop.

Once aboard the bus, you’ll see that the bus has one of those “pull to stop the bus” ropes. In your experience, those are for emergency stops only, so you don’t pull it. Mercifully, others on the bus know better and will pull the cord at your desired stop.

It makes sense now. If the bus wasn’t stopping at bus stops without a future passenger waving the bus down, why would he stop without a current passenger letting him know they wanted to get off the bus? When you’ve reached your stop (or really, a bit before arriving at your stop), pull the cord.

As you’re nearing the Experience, you’ll notice that you pass the BBC Cymru|Wales building. You will wonder what the hell “Cymru” means.

First of all, Cymru is Wales in Welsh. Though Wales is an English speaking country, they are working hard to preserve the Welsh language as it came very close to becoming extinct. So, in addition to teaching Welsh in schools there, just about every sign you see in Wales has Welsh and English printed on it. #TheMoreYouKnow Also,  I don’t know if you can tour the BBC office. I don’t even know if there’s anything to see in there. I just noticed it as we passed and was like, “Oh, hey look at that.” I was too nervous to explore for too long after our run at the Experience since we took the last Experience of the day. I wasn’t sure how long the bus would run to that area after the Experience closed, and I didn’t want to risk missing my train back to London.

The lobby of the Experience will literally take your breath away.

DW Experience Lobby.jpg

Okay,  let me back track a bit. The lobby is by far not the most outstanding part of the experience. Really, the lobby is just a lobby, it’s just that the lobby contains loads of authentic Whovian props. Being that close to a TARDIS, a smiler, Daleks, Handles, and other authentic props will make you simultaneously want to squeal and cry a little.

The lobby–where they have a waiting area and a small cafe–is where you’ll find the big guns like a TARDIS, Daleks, and the Smiler. But when you’re ready to queue up for the Experience, they make you wait in a line prior to letting in, and that room is also filled with a variety of props like the Time Lord costumes, Handles, and the Time Lord Hypercubes.

You won’t be able to take pictures in the Experience, and they’ll ask you to keep the Experience itself a secret.

Sassy Twelve.gif

They want you to keep the adventure under your hat so everyone comes in to the Experience and it’s a new adventure for them. So I’m not going to tell you what I experienced specifically. Suffice it to say, you go on an interactive adventure with the Doctor. I don’t know how many times they make a new adventure, but I’m guessing at least one for every new Doctor, as mine was with Twelve.

You’ll quickly realize the Experience is designed to delight children. However, you’ll still have a blast, and feel a bit emotional that you’re actually in Cardiff, Wales, at THE Doctor Who Experience.

Yeah, the adventure is fully for kids, but it’s still loads of fun. Cheesy? Maybe, but it’s such a unique experience and I was so happy to simply be there, that everything delighted me to pieces. There’s even a part where we got to “drive” the TARDIS, and the Doctor instructed us to allow “small humans” to be in the front (so: Kendall, move back so the kids can have a turn). Mercifully, there were more TARDIS controls than children in my group, so I got to help drive. #TimeLordWin

Despite enjoying the adventure, you will be a bit disappointed that Peter Capaldi didn’t leap out at some point to surprise your group.

capaldi.gif

I did NOT miss a bit, Doctor. You just weren’t physically there. And yes, I know it wasn’t a realistic thing to hope for, especially since I don’t think they’ll be filming new episodes of Who for quite a while, but how awesome would that have been?!? But hey, maybe he’ll surprise your group when you go…

Despite the campy fun of the Experience, you’ll think the Doctor Who Exhibit after the experience is just THE BEST

Once you leave the interactive experience, you’ll enter the “museum” where they store costumes and props from Who over the years. They had awesome stuff like the actual Moment that the Doctor used in the 50th special to end the Time War, they had the War Doctor’s actual TARDIS, the interior of the One’s TARDIS as well as Nine and Ten’s TARDIS, they had an exhibit (that I didn’t get a picture of) showing the evolution of Cybermen on Who, and various costumes actually worn by characters. It was just brilliant.

 You’ll soon realize that though there are a couple of TARDIS interiors to explore, you can’t enter any of the phone boxes. You’ll assume there are two reasons for this.

me and TARDIS

The first reason being that the TARDISes are just props, and it could be slightly devastating for fans to enter a TARDIS and realize it’s just a small, dark box. I mean, can you imagine sending this crazed fan into a fake TARDIS? That’s the smile of a chick hardcore fangirling over all the Who stuff around her, tired from walking with her dang backpack, and feet aching from the blisters she got from her stupid (but oh-so adorable) boots. She looks unstable enough that a disappointment like a fake TARDIS might just send her over the edge…

Of course, the other reason they may not have let us into any of the phone boxes (and there were several–the one pictured is from the lobby, but the museum itself had quite a few of the different phone boxes we’ve seen over the years) is because they are actual, functioning TARDISes. The reason the Doctor didn’t jump into my Experience was because he had merely parked his TARDIS at the museum and was off saving the world. Of course, it all makes sense now.

You will find that, unsurprisingly, the museum exit is through the gift shop. You will want to buy everything, and this will not surprise you either. What will surprise you is that you will not be able to afford any of the pretty things.

i'm poor

Everything is wonderful and beautiful, but hella expensive. If you want to buy something from the gift shop, save up. It makes it a bit worse because, at least when I was there, the US dollar was worth less than the pound making everything doubly expensive for me. Lame.

You will think the entrance to Torchwood/Ianto’s Door/Millennium Centre will be right behind the Experience. It isn’t, and because you aren’t feeling great, you’ll resign yourself to not seeing it and hop on the Number 6 bus to return to the train station. Literally the very next stop (or two stops, I can’t recall now) will be at the Millennium Centre and Mermaid Quay. Frustrated but ultimately too tired to leave the bus (and lacking another 1 pound 80 to get back on the bus), you will simply snap a picture from your seat.

Torchwood Pic

I call this picture: Good Enough.

Really though, this whole area isn’t too far from the Experience if you’re walking, and it’s even shorter if you’re taking the bus. This building is called the Millennium Centre, which you can find in Roald Dahl’s Pass. Apparently there are various Doctor Who/Torchwood things all around here. Ianto’s door (which is now apparently a bit of a Torchwood shrine to Ianto and others who died on the show) is near the location where the speedboats land on Mermaid Quay. Also, you might have picked this up from your viewings of Doctor Who/Torchwood, but just in case: quay is pronounced “key”, not “kway”.

Ultimately, it will be one of your favorite moments from the trip.

missy doctor who squee

Seriously, the entire thing will be a giant celebration of Doctor Who with other people who love the series just as much as you do. It was, without a doubt, one of my favorite moments from the trip.

Have you been to the Doctor Who Experience? What did you think of it? Are you planning a trip to go out there sometime soon? Tell me all about it in the comments!

Everyday Cosplay: Ygritte and Jon Snow

One of my favorite couples on Game of Thrones was Ygritte the Wilding and Jon Snow, a member of the Night’s Watch. I loved those two so much together. I mean, look at these two adorable kiddos (caution, spoilers after the gif):

ygritte jon snow

There chemistry is electric whenever the two are onscreen (I guess they’re actually dating IRL again, which makes me happy). Even in the Game of Thrones musical, the parts that had these two were some of my favorites (SERIOUSLY. Spoilers are coming. Last chance to leave).

So naturally, I was simply heartbroken when Ygritte was killed. And now that Jon Snow may also be dead too (I’m 99% sure he is), I just had to commemorate two of my faves from Game of Thrones with some everyday cosplay. Plus, it’s been snowing like crazy where I live (we get April snow showers here), so I’m feeling the cold weather vibes.

Everyday Ygritte

 

You’ll notice I included a “you know nothing, Jon Snow” tank with Ygritte’s look. Even though it’s a bit meta, I am 100% confident that if those tanks were a thing beyond the wall, Ygritte would wear one every damn day. 

Everyday Jon Snow

 

Obviously this look includes a cell phone cover with question marks. You know, because Jon Snow knows nothing? 

Who is your favorite couple from Game of Thrones? How about your favorite character? Do you think Jon Snow is dead or not? Let me know what you think in the comments! 

 

Fandoms I Love That I Never Thought I Would

5fandomfriday

Fandom is a great thing, and sometimes it can sneak up on you. There are always those fandoms you never thought you’d fall for that you find yourself obsessed with, and there are some you were sure you’d hate that you end up adoring. This week’s fandom five is all about those fandoms that surprised you with how much you love them. Here are my top five:

Comic Books

Okay, so there isn’t really a “comic book” fandom, but I didn’t ever think I would like comic books. It wasn’t until I took a literary criticism class in college where I read Persepolis and took a comic book genre study for my senior seminar that got me hooked on comic books. I never thought I’d be a person who reads comics, but I LOVE comics and graphic novels.

Comic Con

comic con spiderman

Okay, so this is another one that isn’t technically a fandom. Still, with my introvert ways and my anxiety in big crowds, I never thought I’d be one to love comic con. While I’ve never been to San Diego Comic Con because of where I live, I’ve been to several other conventions and I love it so much. Who knew comic con season would become one of my favorite times of the year!

The Flash

the flash

Back when the show started, I wasn’t sure how I felt about The Flash on The CW. In fact, I was ready to stop watching the show. I’m not sure what got me back into the show, but I’m so glad I did. I love The Flash so much, and it’s such a great addition to DCTV.

Harry Potter

Dumbledore-Harry-Potter

When I was a kid, I wasn’t allowed to read the Harry Potter books or watch the Harry Potter movies. Because of that, I figured I just wouldn’t ever jump in to the story. However, I met a girl who told me that, despite being an adult, that I HAD to read the books, and I’m so glad she did. I fell in love with the story, and even though I didn’t get to grow up with it, the Potter-verse has such a special place in my heart.

Being Human US

Being Human

Being a part of the Being Human US fandom wasn’t just something I didn’t expect. I was vehemently against liking this show. I loved Being Human UK so much, and I just felt like the US version simply couldn’t be as good. I was SUPER wrong. I love this show so much. Hopelessly in love with it, despite my best efforts.

Your turn! What are those fandoms you were surprised to find yourself in? Let me know in the comments, and, as always, check out my other Fandom 5 posts. Follow the #Fandom5 hashtag to see what everyone else is talking about today–and be sure to follow me on Twitter to follow the hashtag–-and be sure to check out the brains behind the Fandom 5 linkup, the awesome Kristen and Megan

How to Deal When You’re Busy and Tired, And There’s Nothing You Can Do About It

Sometimes All the Things just pile up at once, and you feel like you’re in a constant state of running yourself ragged. Suddenly, you’re feeling very Bilbo Baggins-y, like butter spread over too much bread, and you’re haunted by one of your favorite Ron Swanson inspirational quotes:

Ron Swanson

But the scariest part of it all is that you can’t see a way to chop things out of your life so you can whole ass one thing. Sure, maybe you’re working towards a day when you can clear things off your plate, but for now you have to work as hard as you are. Maybe it’s working to pay the bills, maybe it’s hustling to make your dreams come true, maybe it’s just that stuff has all piled up and the only way through the pile is to plow through it, or maybe it’s something else entirely. The fact is, when people see you’re overwhelmed and tell you to just “start saying no”, sometimes you get to that horrifying place where you realize that you can maybe say no to additional projects, but for whatever reason, you can’t say no to anything you’re currently working on. You’re crazy busy, tired, spread thin, and exhausted, and that’s just how it has to be right now–and maybe even the foreseeable future. Slowly, you begin to resign yourself to your new normal.

Iwillneversleep

I get it, I do. I’m right in the middle of one of those times of my life, too. For me, it’s a mix of needing to pay bills and realizing that if I want to achieve my goals in writing and editing, I’ve got to up my hustle, so I work. A lot. I don’t always feel like I’m doing a good job, and sometimes I don’t feel like I’m just half-assing stuff, I feel like I’m straight-up failing.

So how do you deal when you can’t take stuff off your plate? How can you retain some sanity when you’re just going through an insane period of life?

Make Some Hard Choices With Your Schedule

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When you’re spread this thin, you’ve got to be incredibly picky about what you take on. You’ve literally no time to lose. Like I said before, I get it that sometimes you’re feeling overbooked but you also can’t knock anything from your schedule. However, sometimes for survival’s sake, you need to strike things from your calendar. Whether it’s saying no to upcoming opportunities, or canceling a few things from your month, sometimes making yourself really prioritize and make some cuts to your schedule can help free up some time and sanity.

Schedule a Time To Do Absolutely Nothing

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When you’re this busy, you’ve got to work in time to relax like any other appointment. Maybe you can’t go to bed at six like you’d prefer (maybe that’s just me), but even if you feel like you just don’t have a free hour (or even a free half-hour) you can work in a fifteen minute catnap or some other short break where you allow yourself to turn off your brain for a bit. Schedule it into your day so you can keep control of your time, but making sure to work at least one break into your day will help keep you mildly sane.

Eat Well

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So maybe…avoid the night cheese. But when you’re in a time where you have to push your body this intensely, you’ve got to do everything you can to keep yourself healthy. Of course trying your best to get a good night’s sleep is incredibly important, but it’s also not always possible. So do what you can to keep yourself healthy, and make sure you’re eating healthfully.

Go Easy On Yourself

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When you’re pushing yourself this hard, whatever the reason may be, you’re not always going to be perfect. You’re going to make mistakes, and you’re not always going to feel like you’re doing a great job at life in general. Try not to be too hard on yourself. Making enough money to pay bills, chasing a dream, starting your own business, finishing school without drowning in student loan debt, and all of those other challenges most of our generation faces is hard work and a steep learning curve. Just try to remember when you feel like you’re sucking at life or after you’ve made a mistake that you’re working to achieve a huge goal. That’s hard, and you can only give so much. If you’ve got to pull a Dane Cook and cry while looking in the mirror repeating “I did my best,” that’s okay too.

Ask For Help

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One of the things that always surprises me when I’m coming out of a tough time (tough for whatever reason) is how many people had no idea I needed help, and are a bit annoyed that I didn’t reach out to them when I needed someone. Whether you need to vent, need someone to actually get in the trenches and help you fix something, you need advice, or anything else, reach out to the people in your life! They can support you, help get you out of the hole, help lighten the load, or maybe help you see a solution you wouldn’t have seen yourself. That’s what friends are for, right?

The Ten Second Rule

kimmy schmidt

Of course, some times when you’re in a crazy part of life where you’re having to really scrape and push to achieve your goals, it can feel like there isn’t any way to make life more manageable. In those cases, channel your inner Kimmy Schmidt and remember that you can handle ten seconds of anything. Seriously. If you’re feeling crazy overwhelmed and the idea of taking it a day at a time is still too much, just take it in small bites. Whether you’re working through your to-do list or turning the Mystery Crank, you can do anything for ten seconds.

mystery crank.gif

Females are strong as hell…

Have you ever gone through a time where you felt like you were spread too thin that you were completely exhausted or generally sucking at everything? How did you deal? What didn’t work for you? Let me know in the comments! 

Everyday Cosplay: Negan

By now, I’m betting that most of you have seen the season finale of The Walking Dead (and don’t freak out if not, no spoilers in this post), and I’m assuming Negan captivated you as quickly as he captivated me. I mean, it wasn’t a pleasant captivated, not by a long shot.

jeffrey dean morgan shrug

Negan is hella terrifying, and a SUPER bad guy–but he’s a bad guy that you just can’t forget. I think he’s the most formidable foe that the group has faced since the Governor. Plus, he’s played by Poppa Winchester, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, happily bringing the Supernatural universe together with the Walking Dead universe.

While this season may have ended on a CRAZY cliffhanger, I just couldn’t manage to shake Negan. Since I couldn’t get him out of my subconscious, I decided I’d commemorate his part in my stress dreams by creating a Negan-inspired everyday cosplay look. Take a peek:

Everyday Negan

 

 

What did you think of Negan? Do you think he’s the toughest enemy Rick and the gang have faced yet, or do you think someone else is? Let me know in the comments!

5 Things To Know Before Visiting Europe

I just got back from backpacking across England, Wales, France, and Italy. The trip was AMAZING (a bit exhausting), and I’m so glad that I went. Backpacking across a country–especially one where I didn’t speak the language at all–is way outside of my comfort zone. I’m so glad I took a leap of faith and went on one of the greatest adventures of my life. Of course, as with any big trip, you learn lessons as you go, and you see things you could have done differently to make your trip go a bit more smoothly. Honestly, it’s part of what makes a trip like that such an adventure.

But still…

It can be nice to remove as many unnecessary stressors from your trip, right? So I have compiled a few things that I learned on my European adventure. I hope they help makes yours go a bit more seamlessly.

There Are Pros and Cons to Backpacking

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White cliffs of Dover…and my trusty backpack.

When the Europe adventure was in its early stages of planning, my husband and I had lots of friends who had lived/traveled around Europe who gave us lots of helpful tips for our trip. One of those was the warning that we should absolutely not bring any more luggage than one backpack each. “You’ll be miserable lugging a bunch of suitcases around Europe,” they said. Lugging suitcases around Europe did sound awful, so we backpacked. It certainly was a lot easier, but the backpack was also a pain in its own right from time to time.

If you’re planning a trip like I went on, where you moved from city and country quickly, and walk everywhere, I highly recommend backpacking. However, when you plan each day, make sure that you think about what you’ll do with your bags as you explore. You’ll encounter loads of backpackers in Europe, so it isn’t out of the ordinary to go through stores and even some attractions with a backpack, but it can be really great if you can stay at a place that lets you store your bags for the day. More than that, there are places that don’t allow you to bring a bag in, so making sure you know where you bag goes each day is helpful.

So it’s handy, but I must warn you, after lugging a bag around a country for weeks, that sucker can get pretty heavy–even worse if you add souvenirs to your bag. I was moving MUCH slower on my last day.

slug

So just be ready for sore shoulders, and the potential of coming across an attraction that won’t allow you to bring your stuff with you.

It’s a Privilege to Pee

I’m hoping you get my Urinetown reference, but if not…

Finding a bathroom that doesn’t charge you to use the restroom is a bit of a feat in Europe. There were restrooms in Venice that charges 1 Euro 50 to use. That’s about two bucks for a potty break, y’all, which can totally add up. Just, plan your days accordingly. Happily, if you’re taking the train, most of the trains (and some train stations) have restrooms that you can use for free, and most restaurants have bathrooms for customers. But still. It can send you into a bit of a panic when you realize you can’t just find a bathroom anywhere to use for free.

The Train is Magical

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One of the train stations in France…I can’t remember which one for the life of me though. #TrainsForDays

We rode the Eurail to get everywhere outside of the UK, and I couldn’t recommend it more highly. The Eurail makes it CRAZY easy to get all over Europe, and the trains were pretty easy to sleep in. Bonus? Some of them even had phone chargers. While trains come and go almost all day (so its easy to catch a later train if you miss your planned train) the train rides can take a while, so it’s good to make a rough train travel plan. And be sure to make sure the trains you want don’t require a reservation!

Outlet Adapters–A MUST

Got a cell phone, laptop, or flat iron you want to bring on your European adventure? You’ve GOT to bring an outlet adapter. Otherwise?

no power

The EU and the UK have different outlets, so it’s good to have a multi-plug adapter. I bought this one, and it worked great in both the UK and the EU. It had several other options to work for other countries, so I’m going to hang on to it for future adventures!

Don’t Let Language Be A Barrier

bonjour

Straight up, I was stressed in Italy because I don’t speak a lick of Italian. I felt completely out of control. Of course, I was also stressed in France because I speak some French, but not enough to start a meaningful conversation. Here’s the thing though: it’s totally okay. The French people I met were incredibly patient and gracious, and I had no trouble communicating (turns out I’m awesome at ordering food in French). In both France and Italy, we encountered several people who spoke English, or at least spoke enough English that we could communicate with. However, if you want to prep for those people who don’t speak English, I’d recommend practicing the language of the country you’re visiting with apps like Duolingo, and downloading the Google Translate app to your phone. That app can translate (some) signs, you can type a phrase in to translate (and favorite it for easy access), and even speak into it for a written and spoken translation. Most locals are going to appreciate that you’re trying to speak the language, and will be understanding. It’s going to feel a bit chaotic, not speaking the language, but embrace it. That’s just part of the experience!

Traveling to Europe is a giant adventure, and there is plenty that you’ll learn as you go. Hopefully these five tips can help make your trip seem a bit less scary, and a bit more exciting. Ultimately, you’ve just got to embrace the unknown and (mild) chaos, and enjoy the adventure! Have you traveled to Europe or another country? Let me know your tips in the comments!