Raising a Geek: Going to a Con with the Kid

For the weeks heading up to SDCC 2018, we are revisiting some of our best articles in regards to con attendance and cosplay.  Hope to see you in San Diego next month!

Well, we’ve made it through. Con season is upon us again!  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

 

Types and Styles of Cosplay

For the weeks heading up to SDCC 2018, we are revisiting some of our best articles in regards to con attendance and cosplay.  Hope to see you in San Diego next month!

The other day I was hanging out with a friend and talking about our latest Guardians of the Galaxy cosplay and that it was a screen-accurate cosplay, but also crossplay for Scout and me.  My friend was asking what the difference between crossplay and gender-bend cosplay was.  I thought it would be helpful to list all the types of cosplay out with a description of each.

Screen Accurate

The first type of cosplay is the kind that most people think of when they hear, “cosplay”.  That is screen accurate cosplay.  The term is pretty self-explanatory.  The cosplay looks like it came from the screen or pages of a comic book.  Below are some screen-accurate cosplays:

You’ll notice that each of these cosplays are accurate down to the last detail.  Scout and I are wearing wigs, the exact accessories and the correct clothing pieces.

The Mash-up Cosplay

The next type is the mash-up cosplay.  This style takes two or more characters from a film or comic book and mashes them together.  Scout and I don’t have a mash-up, but here are some mash-ups I found online (photo credits in the caption):

The Stylized Cosplay

The next style is the stylized cosplay.  Like the mash-up, this style of cosplay has been gaining popularity over the last couple of years.  This style combines a clothing style with a cosplay.  Some good examples are the Playboy Bunny Star Wars characters, business suits Disney characters or Steampunk anything.  Our stylized cosplay are poodle skirt Captain America and American Dream:

Crossplay

Crossplay is cosplaying a character of a different gender.  Scout and I crossplay a lot!  When cosplaying, the sky’s the limit, so cosplaying a different gender is not a limitation at all.  Here are some of our crossplays:

Gender-Bend Cosplay

The last style of cosplay is the gender-bend cosplay.  This style is a little different from crossplay in that you are changing the gender of the character you are cosplaying.  So, examples would be my gender-bend Doctor Strange.  I am cosplaying a girl version of Doctor Strange, instead of Stephen, let’s say Stephanie Strange.

So, that’s a quick tour of the different types of cosplay.  If we left anything out, please shoot us a comment.  We always love hearing from you guys.

Until next time…

Love, Kim and Scout

*All professional photos of us taken by Justin Davidson Photography

Raising a Geek: Part One- Introducing Your Young Geek to Fandoms

For the weeks heading up to SDCC 2018, we are revisiting some of our best articles in regards to con attendance and cosplay.  Hope to see you in San Diego next month!

While this post isn’t expressly about fashion, it is about geekdom and raising up a new generation of geeks.  Part of that is teaching the kids about loving what you love without apology.  This confidence leads into body confidence and self-love, which will serve them well in the future.  Not to mention, you and your son or daughter can share great experiences in geekdom for years to come.

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I have a 12 year old daughter and she is thankfully into the exact same fandoms as I am.  I introduced her at a young age.  Every parent and every kid is different, so it up to you as to when and how to introduce your youngling into a fandom.  For me, I started with the fandom that started my life as a geek, Star Wars.

When I noticed that she could sit through a movie at home- that was when I introduced her to the Star Wars universe.  We started with Episode Four and took it from there.  I was also lucky in that “The Clone Wars” was on television at the time.  This was a great way to share a new part of the fandom with her.

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If you decide that you want to share a fandom with your kid, I suggest you find something where you can get excited about the new stuff together.  The Marvel universe has any number of ways to do this.  Animated series, leading to the feature films, weekly dramas, and of course comic books!  This is also a great way to get them excited about reading and will help with homework.  Get homework out of the way, and then you can watch this week’s “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”

If you find that your kid is really into it, then you can explore going to Cons and maybe even cosplay, which I will discuss in a later post.

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I’ve found that sharing this enthusiasm for geek culture has brought my daughter and I closer together.  She has a confidence and spirit that is amazing for a nine year old.  I feel like geek culture has given her that.  Kids are lucky these days since geekdom is more mainstream.  They don’t get the heat like we used to.  They can proudly wear their fandoms quite literally on their sleeves and not get bullied about it.  If they do get bullied, they will find back-up on the school yard from any number of kids that are into it as well.

We are also lucky in that we have several strong women characters to refer to when teaching our kids strength and confidence.  Showing them that beauty comes from their strength and ability to take care of themselves, not fitting into a certain jeans size.  Makes a Mom’s job easier.

Next time, I’ll discuss taking geekdom up a notch and taking your kid to a Con.  There is planning that must be done, Moms.  Until next time….

Love, Kim and Scout

Getting Started with Cosplay

For the weeks heading up to SDCC 2018, we are revisiting some of our best articles in regards to con attendance and cosplay.  Hope to see you in San Diego next month!

As a cosplayer, I get asked a lot how to get started in the world of cosplay by my non-cosplaying friends.  Taking that leap is difficult.  It takes all of your self-confidence and gumption to get out there in your first cosplay.  My journey to being a cosplayer is just like my journey to be a self-loving confident woman…lots and lots of support and encouragement from friends.

My fellow blogger, Toni aka the Herald of Geek, is actually my “nerd prime”.  Not only with cosplay, but really introduced me into the nerdy world.  Flashback to several years ago.  I was newly single.  Becoming single was a huge shock (long story), and I had not been on my own for 22 years.  My group of friends were friends from the marriage, so I found myself without any friends of my own.  I was attending cons alone when my daughter couldn’t come with me, and I had no idea how to get out in the world again. I saw a Meetup.com group of fangirls that got together to play Magic.  I took a chance and met Toni.  She introduced me to people and invited me to events and now we are great friends.  I will talk more about nerdy meet-ups and hang outs in another post, but she sent a note out asking about who was interested in doing a cosplay group of Marvel poodle skirts.  I called Cap and a cosplayer was born!

My advice to you if you want to get into cosplay is to find a cosplaying buddy for one.  Two, keep it simple.  Three, pick something you love.  Four, enjoy the experience.

Finding that cosplay buddy- Just send out a group text and ask if anyone is interested in doing a cosplay with you.  Get up the courage and send that email!  Have something in mind, but let your friends know that you are open to suggestions as well.  Having someone to cosplay with helps takes the edge off as far as nerves and you can help build each other’s confidence.  There are a lot of superheroes and sidekicks out there to get you started.  There are also tons of larger groups that you can try.  Avengers, Justice League, Star Wars Rebels, just to name a couple.  Pick what inspires you.

I had been toying with the idea of trying cosplay, and then as luck would have it, I was invited to join a cosplay group.  The cosplay was also not complicated, poodle skirts.  Pick something simple.  Don’t go for the screen accurate Captain America from Age of Ultron complete with magnetic harness for the shield on your first go!  Look at costumes and see if it is something you can get store bought. A good example is Scarlet Witch from Age of Ultron.  Red leather jacket, black dress, black stockings and boots and you’re pretty much there.  My Scarlet Witch cosplay was 100% store bought.  Don’t put a lot of pressure on yourself.  This is supposed to be fun!

If you are like me and don’t know how to sew at all, there are tons of websites to get your cosplay gear.  Start with Etsy.  You will be able to find artisans that can make what you need there.  No matter how obscure the character, there is someone on Etsy that makes cosplay pieces for that character.  Bank on it.  Ebay is another great source.  Then hit up Amazon.  There are also some great sites that specialize in cosplay gear and even make custom costumes.  Cosplaysky.com is a great one.  For jackets, black-leatherjacket.com is fantastic.  I sent in my measurements and got a Scarlet Witch jacket that is screen accurate and didn’t cost all that much.

If you want to try your hand at some DIY, then youtube.com searches are the best.  Two of my favorites are GoldenLassoGirl and CuriousJoi.  They both post DIY tutorials as well as make-up tutorials.

Lastly, ask your fellow cosplayers for help.  The community is super supportive and helpful.  Just reach out.  More is merrier in the cosplay world.

Links to sites mentioned are located in the Find It Here Guide on this blog.

I hope that you try your hand at cosplay.  I know it is taking a chance, but it will be fun.  I guarantee it.  Please share your pictures with us so we can see what you created!

Love, Kim and Scout

#Craftstorechallenge

The kiddo and I recently took on the Craft Store Challenge or #craftstorechallenge that has been gaining in popularity recently on Instagram.

Basically, what it is is a hashtag for selfies taken at a craft or fabric store.  The lighting is surprisingly great and all the floral displays in particular provide a great photo backdrop.  I also added some floral stickers and borders to make the pictures pop even more.

Here are the results of our #craftstorechallenge.  If you decide to take it on, please send us some pics.  We love hearing from you!

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Until next time,

Love, Kim and Scout

Avengers: Infinity War

THIS CONTAINS MOSTLY SPOILERS, BUT IT HAS BEEN A WEEK ALREADY.  HOWEVER, WE ARE WARNING YOU…

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OK, like Banner in Sakaar, I’M FREAKING OUT!!!

What an intense experience!  10 years in and now it all came down to this movie.  This movie delivered on so many levels.  It really was sublime in how it got us ready for “Avengers: Endgame”.  That is the official title now.

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As per usual, I am not going to try to review the movie.  My viewpoint is far from balanced on this one, and I’m not a movie reviewer by any stretch.

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However, I am some thoughts, feels and memes to share.  So, let’s get to it!

  • Where’s Korg and Meek?  I’m worried
  • I knew Loki was toast, but I’m still extremely upset to lose our God of Mischief
  • Heimdaal, same, knew he was toast, but I thought he had the soul stone, so I was super-duper wrong
  • I love that we finally got to see Stark and Strange together.  Their egos can fit in a room together, which surprised me
  • Yay, Wong was in this!
  • Yay, Ned was in this!
  • I love Spiderman more and more with Tom Holland playing him so masterfully
  • Stan Lee cameo was LIT!
  • I hope the Cloak of Levitation got its own trailer this time.  It deserves one
  • Love that we got a new Guardians song to add to our Marvel playlists!  “Rubberband Man” by The Spinners, btw
  • Teenage Groot is hilarious
  • “Quill, you’re a dude.  This is a man.”
  • A pirate angel
  • Rabbit
  • Rocket telling Groot to, “Tinkle”
  • Dinklage!
  • Stormbreaker is amazeballs

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  • I love how the women in this movie are vital!
  • Oh man, not Gamora tho!!!
  • Scarlet Witch really gets to show her stuff in this film, which I’m super OK with
  • Stark also not getting along with Star Lord, as expected.  Good thing Titan is so large cause that’s three huge egos now!
  • So glad Rhodey is back on the team!
  • Glad to see more Banner and less Hulk (sorry Hulk, but I prefer the cute one)
  • Shuri trolling Banner
  • Rocket and Bucky fighting together.  Rocket will get that arm
  • Star Lord hopping on the spells that Doctor Strange laid out for him.  Jumping through a portal and flipping off Thanos.  Nice.
  • Cap’s beard.  All day long

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For some funny memes to keep you from utter despair, visit this link on Buzzfeed

Hugs all around, nerds!  We’ve got this…

Love, Kim and Scout

*Lead Image: Marvel Studios

** Some meme’s images subject to copyright

“I Feel Pretty”- A Movie Everyone Should See!

The kiddo and I had the opportunity to go see “I Feel Pretty” the other night with some friends.  We were unanimous in our review.  We all loved it!

The movie had such a powerful message about body-confidence and body-positivity, that I think everyone should go see this.

A quick plot synopsis, Amy Schumer’s character, Renee Bennett, is working at Lili LeClare Cosmetics for the online shopping site.  Unfortunately, the company does not feel that the online workers merit offices at the headquarters, but a small windowless office in Chinatown far and away from 5th Avenue.  Renee does like her job working in the cosmetics industry, but really wants “a seat at the table”, even if that table is the receptionist at Lili LeClare.  That job is a dream come true for her, not because it is challenging or even more money (it is a pay cut and obviously doesn’t utilize her skills at all), but it is a validation.  If you are allowed to answer their phones, then you “belong”.  You are valued.  However, feeling as bad about herself and Renee does, she won’t even try for the open receptionist job.

 

Renee does not sit around feeling sorry for herself.  She is trying to make herself “better” by working out.  So, off she goes to Soul Cycle.  She is pedaling away really making the effort.  Well, her bike breaks, throws her on the ground where she hits her head very hard.  When she wakes up, she looks in the mirror and looks the exact same…to us, but she sees something completely different.  She sees a beautiful woman.

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With the new body confidence and body positivity, she applies and gets the receptionist job.  She meets a cute guy at the dry cleaners.  Gives him her number without hesitation.  She enters a bikini contest and loses, but who cares, free drinks and an appetizer!  So worth it!

I’ll let you find out the rest when you go see the flick, but I really enjoyed this movie.  It was fantastic.  Her confidence and positivity ARE the magic.  People react differently to her after she thinks she’s suddenly smoking hot.  She looks the same, it is her energy and attitude.  Self-love for the win!

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Before you think, “Oh this is all about overweight women are pretty too and eff those skinny bitches.” NOPE!  For starters, Amy Schumer is not overweight.  She is a nice healthy size and pretty.  Secondly, she befriends another lady at the Soul Cycle class that is a fashion model, so she is thin, tall, the fashion ideal.  She gets dumped by her boyfriend.  She has body image issues.  So, this movie does not fat-shame or skinny-shame.  We are all trying to recapture that body confidence and positivity that helps us live our best lives.  The women in this film support and encourage each other, but they also each have their own struggles with body image and positivity (the woman with the high squeaky voice that is far from stupid; she has an MBA).

My final thoughts on this movie are that I really loved that I saw several groups of guys at this movie, not just girl squads.  I also saw a variety of ages represented in the audience.  We all showed up for a funny movie (and it was!), but left with a huge dose of positivity.  I hope you go get your dose soon.

Love, Kim and Scout

*All images may be subject to copyright

*All images from variety.com