Ashley Stewart Lookbook!

I posted earlier this year about a photo/video shoot I participated in for Ashley Stewart.  You can read that article here.

Now the video is out.  Take a look at it below and let me know what you think!

To purchase any of the looks, please visit the Ashley Stewart website here.

Happy Shopping!

Love, Kim and Scout

Fashion Alert: Adaptive Clothing Update as of April 2018

*This article was updated April 2018.  Please see the latest news on this fantastic fashion brand and their new team-up!

Recently I read an article about this great fashion brand, Runway of Dreams, and I had to share this story with you.

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All Photos: runwayofdreams.org

Mindy Scheier is a mother of three children and a fashion designer.  One of her sons has special needs wherein he has to wear braces on his legs to assist with his mobility.  One day before school, her son asked if he could wear jeans to school just like his friends.  “Of course!”, would be the answer, right?  Well, the braces present a unique challenge.  If he wears the jeans, then he won’t be able to go to the restroom unassisted.  If he doesn’t wear jeans, then he feels left out, like any kid would.  What is a mom to do?  Well, she created Runway of Dreams.

Runway of Dreams is a line of adaptive clothing to keep kids and adults that are differently-abled, fashionable.  Magnetic “buttons” hidden behind buttons allow people that would normally not be able to button a shirt unassisted, to button their own shirt. Openings in the back of a shirt or dress instead of having the garment be a pull-over.  It is little details such as these that change the fashion landscape and make it accessable to all.  What an amazing idea and what an amazing lady!

Please go to their website and watch the short documentary here and be inspired like I was.  You can also find stores to shop for these great pieces should you need them or know someone that would benefit from them.

Update: Tommy Hilfiger has now introduced a complete new line of adaptive clothing for all ages!

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The website features USA Paralympians.  Take a look at the collection and shop it here.

 

There are real heroes out there!

Love, Kim and Scout

*Photos: runwayofdreams.org and usa.tommy.com

Body Positivity and Confidence are Great, but What About Comfort?

We’ve talked a lot about body positivity and confidence here.  A lot.  That topic is a main focus on this blog, actually.  Recently, I was having a think and what crossed my mind was about the day-to-day of a person that is body confident and body positive.  How is that working out for ya?

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I’ve spent the last five years really getting down to it in terms of being body confident and positive.  You can just decide to be the thing and then be the thing.  However, maintaining the thing is a different story.  That takes work.  Hard work.  Looking in the mirror and always, always, stopping yourself before you say something negative about yourself.  Stopping yourself from making a comment about a picture a friend took of you at a party when you weren’t ready or didn’t know it was being taken.  Heck, stopping yourself from negative talk about photos you DID know were being taken because you booked a photography session.  These are hard habits to break, but I did.  You can too.

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Breaking these habits took literally years of constant vigilance to kick them to the proverbial curb.  Stoppping the negative from being spoken into that mirror.  Not saying the negative thing about that photo before someone else says it (at least that is why you claim to say it, but in truth your friends are too busy looking at themselves in that photo and having their own battle to say anything nasty to you about you).

I now get to reap the benefits from all that work to be sure.  Now I get my photos back, and I am genuinely happy with them and want to share them with my friends.  I get ready in the morning and genuinely like what I see before I head out the door.  Those are the confidence crisis moments.  When you are put to the test.  If you were on “The A Team”, it would be welding time!  You welded real good, too!   Congrats!  Now what?

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The habits are broken.  Now it is time to make body comfort happen.  This one isn’t quite so sexy.  This one is tricky.  Body comfort is when you get up and get dressed, get through that little mirror crisis moment without a second thought.  Body comfort is when you spy yourself in a shop window and just keep on walking.  You don’t have a crisis moment.  There is no test.  You didn’t even think about your reflection at all.  Just imagine it!  It is possible.  It is. The crisis moments still will happen from time-to-time, but for the most part, you are just, you.  You know?  Cool, right?!

How do you make this happen?  Honestly, I don’t think this is one you can make happen by doing anything.  It seems to be a by-product of constant body confidence and positivity.  You get yet another benefit and isn’t that nice?

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I realized that I had indeed achieved this state recently.  I was having a discussion with someone about life and junk and stuff, and  I said, “I am the love of my life.  I love myself enough.”  You know what?  Every word of that was true!  You’ll get there.  I did.

Love, Kim and Scout

Raising a Geek: Going to a Con with the Kid

Well, we’ve made it through. Con season is upon us again!  We are both super excited to hit the ground running at our favorite con, WonderCon!   We plan on doing some cosplaying, buying things we don’t need and just general mayhem.  I thought it is a good time to discuss attending a Con with a kid.

Attending a Con with a kid is a very different animal from attending by yourself or in an adults-only group.  So, I put together some tips and a check-list to help you out.

Helpful hints:

  • Get the guide as soon as possible and look at the panels.
  • Pick one panel to attend a day.  Yes, only one.
  • Pick back-up panels that you would like to attend, but won’t lose your mind if you don’t get to them.
  • Take a look at the time of these panels.  If your kid still needs naptime, take that into consideration.
  • How long before the panel do you need to be in line?  How long is the wait to get in that room?  Can your kid do that wait?  If they can’t, they can’t.  They’ll get older and better at that later.  Spend your time doing something else.
  • Have realistic expectations for what your kid can do and handle during the day.
  • Will the panel be family-friendly?  There are usually warnings about language and content in the guide.  Check the panel before the one you are going to as well.  Save yourself from having a very awkward conversation with your kid that neither you nor they are ready for.
  • Hopefully, the panel happens during snack time.  Nothing easier than snackage distractions, amirite?
  • Now look at the vendors/artists on the floor.
  • Pick two or three to visit in a day.  Yes, only two or three a day.
  • Basically, what I’m driving at is plan a very light day with lots of plan B scenarios.
  • Take lots of pictures, but don’t try to post them until you get back to the hotel at the end of the day (see tip on extra cell phone battery below).
  • Accept that you will not get to see as much when you attend a Con with your kiddo.

OK, so you won’t get to every single thing when you are traveling with a kid, but bear in mind that you don’t get to every single thing when the kid isn’t with you at a Con either!  Cons are crazy and crowded and even the smaller shows have more fun packed into them than you can possibly see in the time given.  It’s all good!

The good news is that attending a Con with your kid is one of the most fun and rewarding experiences a nerdy parent can have.  I have WAY more fun with the kid at a Con than without, even more so after we started cosplaying.  Cons are special experiences to share with your youngling and help cultivate their fandoms for a lifetime.  They get to meet other adults that are into the same fandoms as their parents.  They see that being a geek is a lifetime pursuit that is always fun and rewarding.  It ignites their imaginations like nothing else.

That being said, here’s a basic checklist of items to pack for your day:

  • Sturdy backpack or messenger bag.  Some good ones can be found at hottopic.com and/or thinkgeek.com.  Don’t rely on the bag that they give you at a con.  Find something with padded straps.  Trust me on this.
  • Refillable water bottle.  Just carry it around in your bag empty and use the water fountains to fill it when needed.  You will need to hydrate!
  • Non-refrigerated snacks.  Granola bars, protein bars, trail mix, beef sticks, stuff like that.
  • Small travel first aid kit with band-aids, pain reliever, antacids and children’s medications.  Pharmacies sell travel kits that are inexpensive and super handy.
  • Extra cell phone battery or two.  The service in convention centers is deplorable!  Also, we nerds love our gadgets, so competition for that wi-fi is tough.  Your battery will take a beating.
  • If you are cosplaying, an extra set of clothes for the kiddo to change into for napping in the stroller, accidents or if they just get tired of cosplaying.  It happens.
  • Bring a small cosplay repair kit with you.  Safety pins, bobby pins, fabric tape, things like that.
  • If you are still in the diaper bag realm, basically pack it like you are going to a theme park for the day.  Extra diapers, wipes, binkies and formula.  Load up for bear.
  • Note that strollers are very much discouraged these days at Cons.  If you have an itty bitty kiddo, bring the least bulky stroller you can get away with and be ready to have to park it outside.  Don’t bring the expensive fancy pants one with you this trip!  Bring the baby sling just in case and check the guide online for rules before you get there.
  • Different colored Sharpies for autograph opportunities.
  • Cash (the ATM line at Cons is always a nightmare).
  • Poster tubes (if you know you are buying art).

With all this in mind, just have a great time!  A little planning and you’ll have tons of fun.  This is just like everything else with parenting.  The key is to plan things out, but be ready with that Plan B, C and so on.  You know what I’m talking about!

Happy Planning!

Love, Kim and Scout

 

Happy 10th Anniversary Marvel Studios!

This year marks the 10th anniversary of Marvel Studios.  What began as a huge leap of faith for the studio, has paid off in every way imaginable.  Marvel Studios decided to take their “second string” heroes and move them up to top billing.  The studio planned a long-game, ending their Phase One with “Marvel’s The Avengers” in 2012.  The movie was a game-changer.  Then they continued knocking it out of the park to the present day.  What the next phase after “Avengers: Infinity War” will bring is anyone’s guess, and there is a lot of guessing going on, but we have to wait and see.  I think even non-comic book movie fans can admit that the movies have been quite an achievement.

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While the anniversary of the studio is a big deal to a lot of people, the anniversary means a lot to me.  Why?

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To explain, I need to take you back ten years and then five years ago.

Ten years ago, I had a two year old kiddo that I had already begun to raise as a little nerd.  She loved Star Wars already, and was becoming increasingly obsessed with Spiderman animated series on TV.  She wanted a Black Panther movie before the rest of us knew we wanted one.  I was still married at the time and was still attending Comic Con International by myself every year.  I loved going, but I was lonely.  I wanted to get a seat at the table, so to speak.  I was still primarily a Star Wars and fantasy nerd and not very knowledgeable of the various comic book universes.  I saw “Iron Man” and really liked it.  I was interested in what the Avengers would bring to the table.  The kiddo and I started to discover the movies together, which changed everything.

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Both of us were entranced by these movies.  We discovered Captain America together.  That was the first super hero movie I didn’t pre-view for her, so we just fell in love with the film at the same time.  By the time the Cap movie was released, Marvel Studios had already begun tying in each movie with the others and having cross-over appearances from characters.  They created a cohesive universe, into which I found myself falling in love with every bit of it.  The Arthurian nerd in me realized that the MCU is a modern-day reimagining of the Arthurian legend, which if you know me at all, really speaks volumes to me!

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Then five years ago, I had one of the most horrible years imaginable.  My husband of 20 years left me and three months later, I lost my father.  Yeah, it wasn’t OK in my world.  What does this have to do with Marvel?  Nothing really, but to me they tie together.  Let me explain.

The rug was ripped out from under me, so I had to truly start over.  I needed a new life, or I was just going to fade away, to be honest.  I was tired.  So tired.  I had no friends really.

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So, I jumped into the nerd world with both feet and began to meet people and make friends.  Again, what does this have to do with Marvel?  Well, I met other nerds, and what do nerds talk about?  Movies!  Then cosplay came into my world and more Marvel influences and so on, and so on.  The movies helped by giving me a social circle.  Through that tribe, I got the confidence and positivity to just try new things (like cosplay for one).  Meeting my tribe and spending time with people that are like-minded and passionate about things let me relax and be myself.  They encouraged me, and in turn, I found my long-lost confidence.  I started to get my picture taken and not hate it!  Heck, this blog exists because of Marvel movies.

So, this anniversary means a lot more to me than it might to some others out there.  It is a celebration of a great undertaking that changed the movie industry and changed my life at the same time.  A little silly?  Yeah, maybe.  If you think so, that’s cool.  I am confident enough now to not sweat it much.

Love, Kim and Scout

*Lead photo and all pro photos- Marvel Studios

*Cosplay large group photos- Avengers Initiative

Ashley Stewart Photo Shoot- WAY Out of the Comfort Zone

I recently got the opportunity to model for Ashley Stewart, which was a huge deal for me and way out of the ‘ol comfort zone!

The shoot was for a spec commercial spot, which will hopefully land on their site.  I will keep you posted, of course.

Ashley Stewart has brick and mortar stores, but also a great online store with some really beautiful clothes.  Not pictured here is my second look, which was a pair of jeans that fit me perfectly!  I highly recommend you do a bit of shopping here.

Until then, please enjoy the photos from the shoot!

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Until next time…

Love, Kim and Scout

Black Panther: What an Amazing Experience!

The kiddo and I got to finally see “Black Panther”.  Like all other MCU fans, we had been waiting and waiting for this movie to hit theatres.  It was well worth the wait!

Spoilers are ahead, but this movie has been out for two weeks now, so I honestly have no sympathy for you if you read on and get something spoiled (just sayin…)

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Here are some of our thoughts on the movie:

  • The entire cast was amazing!
  • The girlpower present in the film, start to finish
  • An excellent and complicated villain in Killmonger.  He presents some valid points, but at the end of the day his “solution” to these issues is way, way off base.  Reason being is that his true motivations aren’t altruism or justice, but to take over himself and rule the world
  • Speaking of Killmonger, the points he makes about colonialism, particularly in the museum scene at the beginning of the movie are on point and brutally honest
  • The costumes are so beautiful, they made me want to cry
  • The color palette of the whole film was like spending time inside a painting.  Just beautiful
  • The relationship between T’Challa and his sister, Shuri.  Just lovely and REAL
  • The way the M’Baku tribe handles dissention.  I bark in approval
  • Beating up someone with a wig and a shoe.  Yep, for the win!
  • Those rhinos!  I want one!
  • Oh how I wish Wakanda was a real place!
  • Shuri’s tech and wardrobe
  • The Dora Milaje.  I mean, COME ON!
  • Marvel has done it again

This movie takes us into the beginning of Infinity War, which is now only two months away, not that I’m counting… (I’m totally counting)!  The post-credit scene shows us that Bucky is doing very well in Wakanda and is no longer a Bucksicle, so he is ready for the war that is coming.

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I was hoping for an appearance from Cap, but I completely understand why they didn’t do this.  Black Panther needed to be its own separate movie, start to finish.  Now, while T’Challa is safely nestled within the MCU (“Civil War” took care of that), we needed to have a separate movie so we can get to know and love our newest heroes in the MCU.  The Wakanda universe will be a huge part of the next Marvel phase I’m thinking, so we best get acquainted with their people and their culture, not to mention their tech.   I really hope for scenes with Shuri and the science bros.  Give me what I desire, Marvel!

They will.  I know they will.

Wakanda Forever!  Kim and Scout

*Lead Photo and all movie photos: Marvel Studios and Disney