It is Never Too Early to Decorate for Halloween!

The kiddo and I love Halloween.  I mean, we LOVE Halloween!!!  Every year we wait as long as we can to decorate the house and get ready for cosplay Christmas!

This year was no different.  We spent the weekend getting out all the decor and going to town!

We put up “Torch” the inflatable dragon…

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Put out all the pumpkins on the porch…

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Put up the new flying witch lights…

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Made up the mantel all nice and spooky…

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The kitchen table also got the Halloween treatment…

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The decor on the kitchen table is made up of Target $3 items in the front of the store and items from Dollar Tree.  So, this entire display cost us $16 total.  I can’t post a link to these items.  You have to visit the stores in person for these bargains.

We do have some new additions this year.  Our new flying witch lights, the bat, and ghost lights are all from Target.  Get your own here.

Here’s to a very Merry Cosplay Christmas!

Love, Kim and Scout

 

Fantastic Pin-Ups and Where to Find Them!

We had a great opportunity recently to attend a special nerd meet-up at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood.  It was Pin-Up day and hosted by @ainselkestylehaus (follow them on Instagram!).

 

There were several meet-up times/places througout the day.  Really nice goody bags with necklaces and earrings, and a trivia contest where I won a wand!

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We started our day as usual, with a frozen butterbeer!

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We walked around and saw the sights around Universal while waiting on the nighttime light show on Hogwarts Castle.

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We took the backstage tour…

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We also had a raptor encounter…

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Our rockabilly outfits feature vintage cardis from Elhoffer Design in our house colors so we can show our Hufflepuff Pride in style!  Get your own in your house colors here.

We stayed until the light show on Hogwarts Castle, which was really cool!

We had a great time.  If you are in the LA area, check out The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  It is amazing!

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Love, Kim and Scout

New Documentary on Body Image: “Straight/Curve”: Redefining Body Image

Recently, the kid and I watched a great documentary on Epix called, “Straight/Curve: Redefining Body Image” by Jenny McQuaile.  We highly recommend that you give it a watch.

Watch the trailer below:

The documentary deals with the complicated issues of body image in today’s society and the pressure put on all women to conform to a certain body type.  There are interviews with teen girls that are honest about their struggles with body image.  The documentary also addresses that these body image issues continue long into adulthood.

What I liked about the documentary is that it wasn’t an exercise in finger pointing at the fashion industry and media.  The film does address these industries as contributing to the problem, but it moves on from that quickly, since we already know this, and gets to the growing number of designers and content creators that are taking this on and putting out a variety of races, ages and body types in their clothes and photos of their clothes.

The film then focuses on an photography art exhibit by Anastasia Garcia featuring 12 models from different ethinicities, ages and body types to create a one-of-a-kind exhibit to be shown during NYC Fashion Week.  The film follows the models on shoot day.

Some highlights of the film:

  • The kiddo really loved seeing the models show up without make-up.  She exclaimed, “Wait, their skin isn’t perfect!  They look like us!”
  • The models talk about how much they hate the photoshopping of their bodies.  They know that the pictures don’t look like them and that it is impossible to look like the photos.  It is truly unachievable.  Even for them.
  • The models talk about how their bodies are scutinized at work.  These were models that were a size 2, and were referred to as “fat” by photographers and agents.
  • The models also talk about how unhealthy they were when they were super thin, and now that they are not worried about fitting into a size 00, they are happier and much healthier.
  • In addition to body size and image, skin color is addressed as well.  One of my favorite models, Philomena Kwao, is a plus size model and a very dark skinned woman.  She talks about getting excluded from covers, not because of her size, but because of her color.  Because she looks differently from what we are used to.
  • “I’m not a plus size woman.  I’m a plus size model.”
  • Seeing that all these amazing beautiful women also struggle with body positivity, whether they are a size 0 or a size 20.  That resonated with the kiddo and with me.
  • “The top of my modeling career, I was the bottom of my self-esteem.”
  • “My worth was in not eating.”
  • “We cannot allow girls to live like that anymore.”  Amen.

If you have the time, I highly recommend this documentary.  It is streaming on Epix now.

The film’s website is here to get more information.

Let’s hear it for body positivity!

Love, Kim and Scout

Raising a Geek: Letting your Geek Flag Fly vs. Fitting In

Recently, I realized as a geek parent, who is proud to be a geek, that raising a geeky kid has some challenges as she gets older.

As the kiddo approaches teenager status, she’s started to struggle with, “what the other kids are doing” more and more.  This was expected, but nonetheless, I was a bit unprepared for this new phase of her life when it actually happened.

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It all started this past month while she was packing for her first trip to sleepover camp.  She took charge and got the list and began to pack, but as she did, I noticed that she was concerned about her sheets and her comforter.  At our house, they are Marvel, naturally, but a bit more generic at her father’s apartment.  The ones at her dad’s won a trip to camp.  Then her pajamas, and her t-shirts faced new scrutiny.  “What if I wear a Spiderman shirt to camp and none of the other girls are wearing Marvel shirts?!”

You may think, “Whatever!  Wear what you want!”  This would have been her answer a couple of summers ago, but not now.  This may seem to be such a non-issue, but when you are 11, it is everything.

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So, as a parent that trumpets body positivity and confidence on a blog no-less, and someone who has always done her own thing, how do you reconcile this issue?  How do you be a good parent, but teach your kid at the same time to be confident and themselves?

It’s a tricky thing.  My best answer, and what I will be doing, is to be a support system at all times.  If they want to wear what everyone else is wearing, then fine.  A tween and a teen’s comfort in social situations is crucial right now.  Allow them to be comfortable.  Their individuality will show its face again, don’t you worry.  Once they get settled into the new school and meet new friends, then that special style will shine through.

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So, I didn’t freak when she wanted to leave the Marvel at home for camp.  Who cares?  It’s fine.  She relaxed and had a great time at camp instead of constantly worrying about being made fun of because she likes “nerdy things” or “boy things”.  She has the ability to stand up for herself and express herself, but sometimes it is just easier to be comfy.  And comfy is OK.  As a parent, make sure they know that.  Don’t be judgmental.  They get enough of that at school, at camp, at swim team, etc.

I know from talking to other parents, that the kiddo it looked up to by many a kid for her style and her confidence.  That will bounce right back in time.  Especially if you are that safety net for her.  You are support.  When she decides to take a chance and wear something unique and different; you are there to support her and encourage that courageous move.  On the other end of it, be there and let her know that it is OK to be safe and comfortable amongst her peers.

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Anyway, that’s my two cents.  What do my fellow ‘rents think?  Sound off in the comments!

Next time, more fashions and a fun unboxing of a Marvel Legends product!

Love, Kim and Scout

*Pro photos by Justin Davidson Photography and York In a Box (see watermarks)

Raising a Geek: Going to a Con with the Kid

Well, we’ve made it through. SDCC is upon us again!  We are both super excited to go to this one as this is one of our favorite cons!   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

 

Cosplay Infighting Has Got To Stop!

OK, I sat on this for a couple of weeks before writing about it to get a grip on what went down.  So, here goes…

The kiddo and I have two new cosplays for “Spiderman: Homecoming” that we will be showing off in a later post.

We based these cosplays on these two Funko Pops for Spiderman and for Tony Stark:

Meantime, some of my other cosplay buddies started to work on their own Spidey Homecoming cosplays, including Tony Stark.  This person posted a picture of their new cosplay, which looked amazing.

In the comments, there was a question as to the source of the cat t-shirt.  A little background, the one in the film is a photo of a cat on Tony’s shirt.  On the Funko, it is a cartoon cat.  I couldn’t find a photo cat shirt that was similar, so I went with styling my cosplay on the Funko instead.  I put a comment to the person asking where he got the shirt with the source of my cat shirt since I also had a Tony cosplay, but it was based on the Funko.

I got the following comments back from the other cosplayer:

“That isn’t screen accurate.”

I responded, with “That isn’t necessary.”

To which he responded:

“Yes it is.  Your cosplay isn’t accurate.”

Wow.  I’m not sure when the “Play” got lost in cosPLAY, but that was my personal experience.  I also witnessed in this week alone two more instances where friends of mine proudly posted pictures of their new cosplays only to have them picked apart and ridiculed and then “helpfully suggested” where and what they should do to improve their cosplays.

Ho-ly (beep)!  Are you kidding me right now?!

I took care of my issue by a quick unfriending and leaving his cosplay group page, which had become increasingly militant over the past few weeks anyway.

Now, what if my kiddo had gotten this on her Insta page?  Or your kids have this sort of thing happen?  We can’t stop it, but we can give our kids the tools to deal with this negativity effectively and without taking a blow to their self-esteem.  Because at the end of the day, this isn’t about me or them.  It is about the insecurity of the person writing the nasty comment.  What their issues are do not matter, but our response to them does matter.

I showed my kid that quietly unfriending someone so negative and just plain moving forward, is the best way to go.  I also told her that my cosplay still remained fun and yes, accurate (to the Funko anyway).  He does not have the power to undo the work I did on the cosplay or the fun I will have cosplaying it.  I further explained that I feel sorry for a guy like that.  I mean, how much fun is he having really?  Not much, I’m guessing.

As we prepare for SDCC in two weeks (OMG! that soon?!), let’s all simmer down a bit and remember that it is cosPLAY.  Enjoy it.  We get made fun of enough by muggles; do we really need to pick on each other?

Love, Kim and Scout

 

Why Wonder Woman is a Big Deal

The kiddo and I had an opportunity to see “Wonder Woman” the other night and OMG, what a fantastic film and a major event in the lives of nerd women everywhere.

Here is the Wonder Woman I grew up with:

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Photo: Warner Bros. Television Distribution

The Wonder Woman television show in the 70s was a major influence on me.  She was strong and authoritative.  Men listened to her!  Wonder Woman and Princess Leia played a big role in making me the woman I am today.  I know that the old show is a bit silly, but when I showed some episodes to my kiddo, her reaction was surprising.  She reacted with, “Mommy, can we watch some more of these?  She’s AWESOME!”  I expected much giggling from the silliness of the effects and such, but the influence of a strong, capable and confident woman overrode the silliness.

Here is the Wonder Woman of today:

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Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures

With some wardrobe upgrades to make her armor, well, more armor-like aside; she remains a great example of a strong, capable woman with confidence and passion for protecting those that cannot protect themselves.

She works with the men in the film pretty seamlessly.  There was no, “But she’s a chick!” kind of ignorance from the team of fighters that go with her to The Front.  Some might say that is not realistic, but I disagree.  Steve recruits the team to go with the two of them, and they trust their friend.  If he is bringing her, it is for a good reason.  This is one of many things that make superhero films great.  The men just fight along side the women.  Everyone has their skill set or powers and what they bring to the table is not valued by their gender.  From my experience with my friends, most men are like this.  It is such a bummer that trolls have been making men look jerky and their masculinity so fragile that it is becoming surprising when men just respect and work with women and it is how it should be.  No big deal.

Wonder Woman was the first woman super hero in the comic book world.  Then she was the first big woman super hero in the television world.  It only makes sense for her to have the first big super hero movie led by a woman.

I love that in the film, she’s a big deal, not because she is a woman, but because she is amazing!  Steve and the rest of the team aren’t threatened by her.  They don’t need to be.  She does not make them any less manly or tough.  She is part of a team.  They get it all done together.

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Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures

It is so great that she is a big deal because she is groundbreaking as a woman leading the first superhero woman movie, but within the movie, the fact she is a woman is not a big deal.  As it should be.  The kiddo will be writing her own piece on how Wonder Woman has influenced her soon, but she still has to finish up 5th grade first.

Now Mattel and Barbie have created dolls from the film so you can play Wonder Woman at home!  The dolls look amazing!

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Photos: Mattel.com

Get your dolls here.

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Photo: Mattel.com

“Wonder Woman” is now playing everywhere, so get yourselves to a theatre and catch a show!  You’ll be glad you did.

Until next time…

Love, Kim and Scout

*Wonder Woman is IP of DC Comics and Warner Bros.

*All photos from television and film from DC Comics and Warner Bros.

*Photos of dolls from Mattel.