Thrift Store Cosplay Introduction

Thrift Store Cosplay fashion blogger nerd post Instagram challenge

Who’s ready for a brand new Instagram challenge? #thriftstorecosplay is coming at you starting today!

Thrift Store Cosplay fashion blogger nerd post Instagram challenge

This challenge was inspired by something called #ClosetCosplay that can also be found on the Instagrams. One of my favorite actresses from the Pemberley Digital You Tube web series, Emma Approved, Joanna Sotomura did this challenge back in May and I loved her take on it so much that I really felt like I needed to add my own version to the mix.

If you haven’t noticed, lately I am all about that thrift store life. Goodwill, Salvation Army, vintage stores, consignment, Plato’s Closet…those are the stores for me! I have actually given up a lot of other shopping at the places I used to shop like H&M, Forever 21, Old Navy, Target and TJ Maxx.

This decision has come about partly because I love the message behind shopping thriftily. I love the cycle of thrift store clothing. I purchase from thrift stores and I give items to thrift stores and feel like I’m constantly contributing to the cycle of fashion and you are far less likely to have a “who wore it best” moment with vintage, consignment and thrift.

The other reason is that a lot of the brands that I was shopping before weren’t transparent in their production. Which is not something I am interested in supporting. After attending meetings with the Florida Abolitionist society and becoming more aware of the dangers of fast fashion, I have become passionate about changing the way I shop for my clothes. If you are interested in it too, then #thriftstorecosplay is a great way to give yourself fashion goals to achieve at thrift stores and start to populate your closet with really interesting and unique pieces.

That’s a long, drawn out of way of saying, I’ve completely changed the way I shop! And I wanted to share it with you, reader fam, in a fun way. Hence the mix of #closetcosplay and #thriftstorecosplay. Come on over to my Instagram and check back here for a display of my daily cosplay selections. Everything you see in my cosplays is from thrift stores, consignment, vintage shops, my own closet or my dad’s and grandma’s closet. Going through family member’s closets is always a fun endeavor and you never know what treasures you will find!!

And if you want to join in with your own version of #thriftstorecosplay and #closetcosplay then join one of those hashtags and make sure to tag me @nerdinthesand so I can see them and be part of your story!!

Day 1: Perdita from 101 Dalmatians

Polka Dot Top from Goodwill

Black Skirt from Salvation Army

Choker from Plato’s Closet 

Chucks from Lizzie’s Closet

Game of Thrones Fitness Challenge (Guest Post)

Game of Thrones fitness challenge season premiere HBO guest blog post
Photo from wall.alphacoders.com

by: Johnson Reis

With the upcoming seventh season set to premiere this weekend, I’m not here to just prepare you for what’s about to go down as the most exciting time in television history, but also in terms of your training routine. Counting down seven kingdoms, three dragons, and a plethora of characters, tuning in to this globally popular HBO show will put your stamina and stress levels to the test while having plenty of fun in the process!

While it’s true that we’re living in a digital age, finding motivation from fictional and real life characters we see on-screen isn’t a quite as new of a trend as you may think.

While some look at inspirational individuals, others look to television shows and/or films for characters they can relate and/or aspire to. We watch movies such as 300 or X-Men, which instantly sparks an interest in us to achieve that Leonidas or Logan physique. When it comes to TV shows, there are the likes of Game of Thrones, in which characters do not only embody mental but also physical strength.

For me, watching a single episode of Game of Thrones (GoT) is like doing three sets of ten burpees. Due to the unpredictable nature of the show, it gets our heart rate up, leaving us on the edge of our seats in the process. In more ways than one, these are essential factors that come in handy in our home workout.

If you also happen to be a diehard GoT fanatic, I’m sharing with you a Game of Thrones-inspired workout ideal to get ready for the impending season premiere.

It integrates an array of exercises into the show, coming up with a viable training regimen you can easily do at home. Think of it this way: you’ll no longer be pegged as a “couch potato”, as you get a decent adrenaline-inducing session even while watching your favorite television show. Ready? Here we go!

– If a character gets speared, stabbed, or generally killed – do 10 burpee tuck jumps. This exercise is a sure-fire calorie burner that strengthens and tones your lower body, making your kicks and movements more explosive. It also has fantastic cardiovascular benefits. 

– If a character says “Your Grace” – do 10 pop push ups. This exercise is great for building upper body strength. In addition, it reinforces your pectoral muscles and arms.

– If you see a dragon or a dragon’s egg – do 10 isolated alternating towel slide lunges. This exercise may seem like a simple movement for the legs and buttocks, but in actuality, it has plenty of benefits. Aside from improving your balance and your core, lunges develop hip flexibility.

– If Tyrion Lannister drinks or has a drink in hand – do 10 chair dips. This movement is perfect since watching TV normally entails sitting on a chair or a couch. When done right, it activates your triceps.

– If ‘Cersei Lannister’ does something bad – do 20 core crunches. Naturally, when it comes to home workouts, we can’t forget about engaging the center of it all, the most important muscle group. By developing your core strength, you improve power, speed, and precision. 

Core Crunches. Video credit: Ruben Garcia YouTube Account

Author’s bio:

Johnson Reis

Aside from being a dedicated Muay Thai practitioner, Johnson is a huge pop culture fanatic. One of his wildest dreams is to visit the Game of Thrones set and maybe meet some of the actors. Johnson is also a contributor at BookMartialArts.com.

Find Book Martial Arts on Instagram: @yogaretreats

Find Book Martial Arts on Twitter: @BookMartialArts

Bun Challenge

#12Days of Star Wars Instagram Challenge Nerds

Perhaps you’ve seen the popular Instagram account @willitbeard and if you haven’t, prepare to be delighted by Pierce Thiot and his beard. Pierce posed the question “Will it Beard?” And has set out to see exactly what kind of everyday objects, foods, toys, etc will fit in his beard and stay in his beard. Check it out:

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Pierce inspired me and gave me an idea for #12DaysofStarWars …

I call it the Bun Challenge and I’m asking you… #willitBUN

Here’s the gist: What can you strap to your head that will give you Princess Leia buns. Cinnamon buns (rather obvious), toy tires, buns made of Lego, buns made of cookie dough? Let your imagination take you away and make sure to post pictures to Instagram (@nerdinthesand) and Twitter (@nerdinthecity) with the hashtags #12DaysofStarWars and #WillitBun

I have an awesome giveaway and every picture you post and tag me in will get you an entry! Giveaway winner will be chosen on 12.8.16 at midnight! Happy Bunning!

Here’s the first one I came up with today…rather easy and obvious, but ya gotta start somewhere!

Star Wars Instagram Bun Challenge #WillitBun STarbucks bagels PRincess Leia

Bagel Buns (bagels fresh from Starbucks and yep…I bought 2 bagels just to pin to my hair! That really happened! It’s called dedication!)

Can’t wait to see what YOU come up with!

12 Days of Star Wars

#12Days of Star Wars Instagram Challenge Nerds

Nerds!! There are only 11 days left till our eyes behold the next installment in the Star Wars saga. (10 if you plan on going on Thursday night!) This Star Wars is going to have a decidedly different flavor than the 7 that have preceded it. There will be no scrawl at the beginning of the film. It’s going to take place in a timeline that we are familiar with but with a whole slew of new characters. And I, personally, am on the edge of my seat waiting for opening night!! I can barely contain my excitement!

I’m doing a Star Wars Challenge over on Instagram to give myself an outlet for all my Star Wars joy! Come play! @nerdinthesand #12DaysofStarWars

#12Days of Star Wars Instagram Challenge Nerds

What are you most looking forward to seeing in Rogue One? Brand new characters like Jyn Orso, Captain Cassian Andor, K-2SO and Director Orson Krennic? The return of familiar characters like Mon Mothma, Bail Organa and Darth Vader himself? Perhaps you’re pumped to see how it’s going to set up the story to lead right into our beloved Original Trilogy? I can’t decide which part I’m most excited about.

I just know that every time a new Star Wars comes out I feel like I did in 1999 when The Phantom Menace came out and my friends, family and I waited in line for hours for that midnight showing.

I grew up with Star Wars (this you already know) so there was never a time when it wasn’t a part of my world. I don’t remember the first time I saw Episodes IV, V and VI. But I do remember when the news hit that George was finally going to give us a prequel trilogy. The impossible had become possible. There would be more Star Wars in our future!! I felt almost the same way in 2012 when Disney announced it’s acquisition of Star Wars and that  the purchase would mean that once again, the Star Wars universe would be expanding.

So yeah…I’m pumped! There is no fandom that hits me the way Star Wars does. No fandom has ever come close. And I think…no fandom ever will.

Get your tickets for Rogue One TODAY!

Disney Princess Recap

Modern Princess Instagram Challenge Rapunzel Disney blog post

I am 1 week into my Modern Princess Instagram Challenge. And I am already feeling pretty royal this week, more than usual! Here’s a look at what’s been happening on Instagram if you’ve missed it. And there’s still plenty of time to join my challenge and be entered to win a Disney Prize Pack!! Each picture, tweet, Facebook post, etc will get you entered!! What do you have to lose? No, the real question is, what do you have to gain! I’ll tell you…a Disney Prize Pack and a whole lot of Princess fun! That’s what. Let’s do this!

Modern Princess Instagram Challenge Disney nerd in the sand

Once Upon a Dream…

Modern Princess Instagram Challenge Rapunzel Disney blog post

Be Our Guest…
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But Don’t Eat the Apples…
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Life is waiting for you Just Around the Riverbend…
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So Hold onto your Seashells…
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We Finish Each Other’s Sandwiches…
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And I’m So Glad I Left My Tower…
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Because now I can live The Dinglehopper Life…
Modern Princess Instagram Challenge Disney Ariel blog post

Also, make sure to take a look at Amber’s instagram feed. She is faithfully following along and has some pretty adorable princessey posts. Check her out: @neeneecosplay
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Also check out my cute nephew who is participating too. Look at him living that Merman life!! I can’t handle that much cute!!!image

Modern Princess Instagram Challenge

Modern Princess Instagram Challenge Disney nerd in the sand

April is here! Spring has sprung. And when I open my window, woodland creatures come in and help me dress every morning! Life is a fairytale, dreams are rainbows and rainbows are real. Soon I’ll break into song and dance! Cause…Hey! It’s Friday. And what were Fridays made for, if not song and dance and fairytale romance.

Don’t fight that inner princess…or prince! Just embrace them! We all have a little Disney waiting inside of us. So come on over to Instagram where the magic is waiting for you!! Snap a pic using my Modern Princess prompts and enter to win a fantastical Disney prize pack. The more pictures you take, the more times you enter! Make sure to tag @NerdintheSand, use the hashtag #PrincessProblems and bring along all the plucky sidekicks and furry woodland creatures you want! There’s room for everyone in my castle!

Modern Princess Instagram Challenge Disney nerd in the sand

And all month long I’ll be talking Princes, Princesses and the wonderful world of Disney. So if you have a specific topic you want to hear about…email me: nerdinthecity01@gmail.com

The Redemption of Kylo Ren

The question on everyone’s mind lately… “Is Kylo Ren Redeemable?” or as my guest blogger Michael Burgett queried yesterday: “Will Kylo Ren Be Redeemed?” If that question is not on your mind, then you just haven’t seen Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens enough! Go watch it again and then we can talk!

Reader, you know me by now. I’ve shared many an embarrassing story with you. I’ve told you about my dates and about my family and about my hopes and my dreams. I believe that you truly know me, in all my pie-in-the-sky optimism. So, of course, my answer to both the aforementioned questions would be yes. Yes, Kylo is redeemable and yes, he will be redeemed. In fact, I’d go further and say it is merely a matter of time till he is redeemed. And it is one scene in particular that gives me this hope for the son of Han Solo to find his way back to the Light.

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Han is leaving the Rebel base to go destroy Starkiller and confront his son who has turned so far from the path that Han, Leia and Luke had wanted for him. Leia and Han share a tender moment of goodbye, not knowing that it would be their last moment together. Leia says to Han “there is Light in him.” And as we know, this is a strong theme in the Star Wars universe. The presence of Light is more than just a touch of the good side…it is hope. Padme felt the Light in Anakin. Luke felt the Light in Darth Vader. That pull to the Light is a powerful feeling.

Often it is the Dark side that is given all the strength of power. And in the past we have witnessed the pull from the Light to the Dark in Anakin’s journey. Kylo’s journey, for us, starts out in the Dark with that sliver of Light still shining inside him. Light that he is desperate to eradicate and turn from.

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Now, I know what you’re thinking. All that Light talk happened before Kylo kills his own father, our beloved Han Solo. Tell me something…does one deplorable act completely erase your humanity? Some might say yes, but I say no. (It’s a different story when it comes to the Emperor. Ask me about it sometime!) Kylo is still Leia’s son. And in the end if when Kylo comes back to the Light side, he will have to fully feel his actions on Starkiller base. The Dark side allows you to cloud your true feelings and boil them down into pure anger. But as any person who has experienced anger knows, there’s usually something else going on underneath it. And Supreme Commander Snoke knows this. He is pulling Kylo’s strings the way Emperor Palpatine pulled Anakin’s. The Dark side is manipulation and lies.

Now, I really like the point that Michael in his article yesterday. If this were just a villain, like Darth Vader was back in 1977, then we wouldn’t be having this argument. We don’t argue whether Hannibal Lecter will be redeemed or if Lord Voldemort will come back to the side of good wizardry in the end. But in 1983, when Return of the Jedi was released, George Lucas taught us that even a bad guy as bad as Darth Vader himself could find redemption and bring balance to the Force. Let’s not forget that lesson just because Kylo Ren has no prophecy to bring about his redemption.

We, the viewer, had no idea what history lay underneath Vader’s mask till the prequels came out in 1999. With Kylo, we know a little of his history, but none of his motivation. Why did he turn? What drew him to the Darkness? What lies about Darth Vader’s legacy has he been told? And if he finds out the truth about The Chosen One, will that make a difference?

All will be revealed in due time, reader. We may have to wait a few more months than we want to with Episode VIII being pushed from May 2017 to December 2017. But think of how happy your Star Wars friends will be to have another onslaught of delicious merchandise to acquire that Christmas. It’ll be so easy to shop! So in the end, the wait is worth it. And we can continue our speculation up until the very day when the truth is shared with us.

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In the meantime, I invite you to come join my Nerd in the City book club on Goodreads. So much delicious Star Wars Expanded Universe reading material to dive into and dissect!! Do not miss out!

What’s Your Word?

Goodbye 2015, Hello 2016

The past is very important. Of course it is! It’s the path we’ve taken to get to where we are today. There is value in the past. Value in learning from the mistakes we’ve made (and we’ve made mistakes.) Value in celebrating the magic we’ve experienced (and there sure was some magic!)

I’m someone who easily forgets and yet somehow I still hold on with both hands. I hate to admit that I find myself dwelling on those darker, harder, sadder, angrier moments occasionally often frequently. The ones I shouldn’t hold on to at all. Sometimes I get bogged down with the beautiful moments too. Trying to recreate the past. Instead of allowing new moments to be created, I’m too busy trying to relive moments that have come and gone. But they were just that good! Shouldn’t I want to find that happiness again? Isn’t that a good thing?

The thing is, this is rather a new revelation about myself. I didn’t realize I did this. At least not to this extent. WOW. That mirror can be a hard thing to look into sometimes.

Instead of lamenting this…well…lamentable behavior, I’m actively choosing positivity (it’s sorta my thing!) I choose to inspire myself to be better. No one else will work as hard as I will to inspire the future I want to see for myself. NO ONE!

I won’t recount to you my hardest trials and biggest triumphs of 2015. You can go look to past blogposts or my Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for the cliff notes. There was good…there was great (birth of my nephew deserves a shoutout!) There was bad…and there was certainly ugly with a capital UGH!!!

Forget all that! I’m walking forward…no…running forward. I have big, bright moments in my future and I’m eager to get to the good stuff.

I’ve mentioned to you, gentle reader, that I don’t believe in New Year’s Resolutions. And I don’t. Resolutions tend to be about changing ourselves. Temporary solutions that don’t last longer that mid-January or if you’re really lucky February even. The truth is, I don’t want to change who I am. I like me! Moles on my face and all!

I want to inspire and allow me to become my best self. So instead of a long list of character flaws that must be changed immediately, I pick a word. A word I want to live out in my daily actions for the whole year. Sure, somedays I’ll fall short. Other days I’ll jump high and long and clear the hurdles. But the point is, I’ll be trying. Me…this unholy mess of a girl.

In the year 2016, I Liz Tailor, choose to live FREE!

Free in 2016 New Years, Same Nerd

-Free from my past actions.

-Free from unrealistic expectations.

-Free from debt.

-Free from negativity.

-Free from judgements.

-Free from convention.

-Free from borders and boundaries.

-Free to create.

-Free to live.

-Free to love.

-Free to travel.

-Free to come back home.

-Free to share.

-Free to inspire.

-Free to write and sing and run and fall.

-Free because I serve a MIGHTY GOD who “knows the plans for me. Plans to prosper me and not to harm me, plans to give me hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

freedom in 2016 New Year

Part of discovering what it truly means for me to be free, I also want to explore how I can help those who aren’t blessed with the freedoms I have. Human Trafficking is a cause that has long been on my heart. So I hope you’re ready to hear about my journey to learn more. And perhaps the causes you are passionate about will take a front seat this year as well!

Tom Petty Quote "Freedom"

I hope you join me in choosing a word to live by instead of unrealistic lists (I know that up there is a list, I like lists) that you cannot ever hope to live up to. And I hope with all my heart that you find what you’re looking for in 2016!!

What’s your word this year?

Overachiever Much?

Back in high school, no one could accuse me of being an overachiever. I sat in the back of the class, half-assed my work and got bad grades to show for it. I graduated with zero honors and went to Community College because I didn’t get in to FSU on my first go around. All that to say, achieving wasn’t a high priority, not to mention over achieving.
Flash forward to 2015, 14 years after graduating high school and my life paints a very different picture. Thank goodness for that! If we just stand still then there’s no growth and what do we have to show for our experiences? What have we learned? But more importantly 14 years??? Where has the time gone?

I’m glad to have grown older and a little bit wiser. People who know me now are shocked to find out about my poor grades and mediocre commitment to learning back in high school. You know what? I’m proud that they’re shocked. I’m proud that they expect an A student on the honor roll with plenty of extracurriculars to impress the college folks. (Think Rory Gilmore, not Paris Gellar!)
Because nowadays I’m motivated. I love learning and yes…I would proudly raise my hand in overachievers anonymous and tell my story!
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For example: this month is #NaNoWriMo and for those of you not hip to the hashtag, that stands for National Novel Writing Month. For the next month I am committed to writing a minimum of 1600+ words a day. Not just any old words…novel words… story words. I’ve never written a novel in my life. I’ve dreamed of it. I’ve talked about it, but I’ve never taken actionable steps towards that goal. As of November 1st, that is no longer the case!

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Guess what, November is also #NaBloPoMo. Again, for those of you born before 1970, that’s National Blog Post Month. So on top of my pointed novel words, I’m adding a commitment to a month of blog posts. A blog post a day, to be precise. That’s more words. Clearly November should instead be called #NaLiHaWaTooManWoToWriMo which of course translates to National Liz Has Way Too Many Words To Write Month!!

Add onto that the countdown to the biggest event in nerd history (if I have to tell you…then this may not be the place for you.) An adjustment to moving back to Florida from my sojourn in sunny California. The impending holiday season (thanks for that reminder ABC Family and your already advertised 25 Days of Christmas programming…talk about overachievers.) And the prospect of being an aunt to infant babies. As well as the daily struggle to maintain some semblance of a prayer life, the potential dating career in my future, a desperate need to commit to that Title Boxing Membership that I’ve been trying to ignore, wanting to find time to volunteer, planning a potential mission trip and a million, zillion other things…yeah overachieving…it’s sorta my new thing.
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*Photo from Power of Positivity
But instead of lamenting my need for purpose and my drive for excellence, I’m diving in head first. I’m making commitments left and right. I am no longer intimidated by the label of being an “overachiever” I am wearing it like a badge of honor. And I was never a very good Girl Scout, but darn if I didn’t like the look of all those badges on that pretty, bright, yellow sash. (Side note, I also dropped out of Girl Scouts before we even got around to cookie selling season. Trust me…that was a girl who grossly undervalued her potential.)

If I could crawl into a Delorean, tap the Flux capacitor and go back in time…I wouldn’t change a thing. Sure good grades woulda been nice, but sitting in the back of the classroom taught me that I never want to be overlooked again. And that is a lesson that front row kids never get to learn.
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So the joke’s on you, time machine…cause I choose to go see Elvis’ last concert in Indianapolis on June 26, 1977. (Yep, I Googled that, but it doesn’t make my desire to see the King on stage any less real!)