Happy Holidays!

We are working on so many amazing new things for our 4th year of raisingaheronotavillain.com!

We are going to have all kinds of new content for you.

Find out what’s behind that door in the new year.

We will re-join you after the holidays.

Until then, Happy and Merry!

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Love, Kim and Scout

Echo Look

We recently bought a new toy for the blog, the Echo Look by Amazon.

As you can see by the video, this device is perfect for all beauty bloggers, fashion bloggers and Instagrammers.

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Once you set up the device and use your phone’s camera to frame the photos, all you have to do is say, “Alexa, take a picture.”  The device will light your photo and take the picture.  It automatically goes to your app.  From the app, you can save the photo, compare it with other looks and share with any of your socials.  The device also has a camera and mic off button so you can mute the device for privacy.

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The free app to accompany the device allows you to keep your looks and organize them by color and style.

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The last feature is Style Check.  You put in two of your looks and style experts weigh in on which outfit looks better on you.

So far, I really love it.  Next up will be the first looks taken by Echo Look from my new closet room, a project I will outline when it is finally finished.

Until next time…

Love, Kim and Scout

*All photos and video: amazon.com

 

 

Halloween Decor on a Budget

In my humble opinion, it is never too early to decorate for Halloween.

Because I started a new job this year, I didn’t have any Halloween decorations, so I hit the stores to get some new ones.

All the decorations on these pages are from either the Dollar Spot at Target or from Dollar Tree.  Total spent was $21.  I’ve put links to each store on this post, but to get the discounted items, please visit the stores in person.

Happy Halloween in advance…

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Love, Kim and Scout

 

Witch Kits

*Update: Pinrose will no longer be offering this kit, but I feel the discussion should still be had.

There has been a lot of talk recently about Sephora‘s latest offering.  In October, cosmetic company, Pinrose, will be offering a Beginner’s Witch Kit.  The kit includes tarot cards, rose quartz, sage and a variety of essential oils.  The link above is to Sephora’s website, the kit isn’t up on the site just yet.  Just do a search for Pinrose in October to get your own online.

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Pic: quartzy.com

When this was announced, my fellow witches (I’m an ecclectic urban witch, fyi) had a collective fit about it.  While I respect their opinions, I don’t understand the ire.  I think, and this is just my assumption, is that they feel the practice of the craft is not being taken seriously by this company.  I can see where that assumption could be made.  However, I think we are getting into “fake witch” shaming territory here, which could take us into a very negative direction.  I’m reminded of all the times I’ve been accused of being a “fake geek girl” because I didn’t know the minute detail that this particular person was talking to me about.  I feel shamed everytime this happens, and I don’t want to be “that witch” that shames someone for reaching out and exploring the craft for themselves.

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Spell Kits from Psychic Eye Bookstore

Hear me out.  If someone is alone in their desire to learn more about the metaphysical or magick or whatever spirituality, they may not know where to start.  Perhaps they feel comfortable shopping at Sephora.  They see the kit.  They want to know more.  They buy the kit, take it home and then once they feel more comfortable, then they go to their local metaphysical store to ask questions.  Now they know what questions to ask!  They buy books and become more schooled in things.  Their friends notice a positive change in their energy.  They ask about that change.  This new witch passes on her knowledge and so on.

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Kit available on Amazon

Now, I realize that the preceeding paragraph was a “best case” scenario.  Will there be people just embracing this as a fad?  Absolutely!  You have people jumping on bandwagons for pretty much everything.  There’s no stopping that.  I just hope that my fellow witches don’t throw out beginners that really want to explore and learn magick for themselves.  I don’t think anyone can say that there is only one right way to get started.  Just get started.  After all, there are beginning witch kits available everywhere from metaphysical stores like Psychic Eye to Etsy and Amazon.

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Kit from Etsy

I do have a recommendation for those of you that are interested in the craft and how to practice it.  This wonderful book.  It is available on Amazon.

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Photo: Amazon

“Wiccapedia” has tips from everything from setting up your altar, minerals and their uses, oils and herbs and their uses, basic casting and a history of Wicca and Paganism as a religious practice.  This book is something I revisit on the regular to get answers to questions or to just reconnect with the practice.

So, if you see someone purusing the shelves at Sephora and pick up a kit, don’t give them a hard time.  Don’t be a gatekeeper.  It might have been really hard for them to do that.  Encourage their curiosity and embrace them as your sister/brother in magick.  So mote it be!

Love, Kim and Scout

Ashley Eckstein’s New Book

At last month’s SDCC, we attended the Her Universe Fashion Show, as always.  The goody bags at that show are always amazing!  This year was no different.  We all got a free copy of Her Universe founder, Ashley Eckstein’s, new book, “It’s Your Universe”.

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Now that the dust has settled from SDCC, I picked up my copy and gave it a quick read.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that it is not only a memoir of sorts, but also a workbook so you can get to work on your own story.

At the end of each section, there is a section for you to work on your own thoughts, ideas, dreams, whatever.  There are exercises such as make an action plan to reach your goals and jot down those little ideas that pop into your head that can turn into big ideas and dreams for your future.  Eckstein encourages you to write in the book and make it your own kind of dream journal.

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The illustrations by Ashley Taylor are really beautiful as well.  I would love to have several of these in a frameable format!

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That is one thing that I’ve always liked about Eckstein.  She likes to not only share her journey, but guide you on a journey of your own.  The fashion show being a prime example.  The winners of that show get to design a line not only for Her Universe, but the line is sold in Hot Topic and Torrid stores worldwide!  Yes, it helps her company for sure, but makes new fashion stars in their own right.

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The book inspired me to put pen to paper and write down my ideas so that I can expand on them later on.  I now have a ton of projects that I’d like to tackle!  I have this on my desk now for inspiration, actually.

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The book is a very quick read, which I really liked.  I also liked the “all ages” aspect of it.  This is a great book to give to a child to encourage them to dream and make things happen.  The book takes a very relaxed approach to new ideas and projects you’d like to accomplish.  Let them flow.  Break ideas down into milestones.  Big ideas are a journey.  By teaching our kids to break down things into manageable goals, big ideas seem less daunting and achievable.

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Best Advice EVER!

Pick up your own copy of the book here.  Happy reading!

Love, Kim and Scout

*All photos from “It’s Your Universe” by Ashley Eckstein and Illustrations by Ashley Taylor.  Published by Disney Editions

 

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