Thrift Store Cosplay Day 18

Thrift Store Cosplay Day 18 Van Pelt from Jumanji villain fashion blog post

Thrift Store Cosplay fashion blogger nerd post Instagram challenge

Day 18: Van Pelt from Jumanji

JUMANJI! Who else desperately wanted to find the Jumanji game and open up their own jungle Pandora’s box as a kid? No? Just me then?

This is one of those timeless Robin Williams movies that I used to LOVE watching and now find it quite difficult to watch, only because all Robin Williams movies make me hella emotional. And while I am interested in the new Jumanji as a movie that looks funny, (and I always enjoy the Rock) for me…there is one Jumanji and one Jumanji only and it has the incomparable Robin Williams.

What about you? Did you see the trailer for the new Jumanji? What did you think?

Ps…I really like saying the word Jumanji! Here’s my take on the OG Jumanji villain and super baddie, Van Pelt (I left the big guns at home):

Thrift Store Cosplay Day 18 Van Pelt from Jumanji villain fashion blog post

Hat from my dad’s hat collection

Tie Pin from Dechoes Resale

Black Shirt, Tan Shirt, Red Tie, Belt, Shorts and Boots all from Goodwill

Thrift Store Cosplay Day 18: Van Pelt from Jumanji fashion blog post villain flat lay

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On the Subject of…

High School.

Recently I have been binge watching  the, sadly, short-lived Carrie Diaries (only 2 seasons…sad face.) And like all the teen dramas I’ve enjoyed in my life (Dawson’s Creek, The OC, One Tree Hill, etc) watching it makes me feel like maybe I missed something.

I never had a first kiss in high school or a date to the  prom. My girlfriends and I never asked the good questions about sex and while I had plenty of crushes on cute boys…what’s the point if none of the boys ever knew it?

That’s not to say that there weren’t plenty of seminal moments in my high school experience. There were. But what little remains of my spotty memory of events is mixed with stories my parents told me, pictures in a yearbook and a box full of notes from people I haven’t seen in over 15 years.

Maybe teenagers these days are more self aware because of You Tube and Facebook and the internet in general. They’re creating a generation of people who are watching themselves grow up on camera…in print. Permanently, for the world to see and share. Then again, maybe it was just me. Maybe I was the only one floating along and phoning the whole experience in. I was a D student who never raised my hand and rarely spoke up in class. A far cry from the Nerd you know today!!

Looking back at those tender, wonder years I wish a piece of who I am now had been found back then. If only because maybe I could have tapped into my confident, ass-kicking, girl bossy ways much sooner. It’s not like that girl wasn’t somewhere inside me back then, waiting to break out. I was just too scared of who I could have been, of who I eventually became.

So many of these fears are explored and overcome in high school and yeah…I managed to bungle my way through some of them. But out of all the lessons I’ve watched play out on these teeny bopper, baby mama dramas, I have to say (lamentably) it’s the things of a more romantical nature that I really missed out on the most in high school.

 

I was a bit of a late bloomer in that area…in fact, I’ll let you know when that actually happens. Because I still get crushes on boys that never know about it. Needless to say…I missed a lot of things that would have been much easier if I’d gotten it out of the way in high school. But that’s not my story.

And, Hey!! Maybe it’s never too late to bloom.

I am where I am, who I am and what I am. And the only thing worth wondering about is…what’s next for me?

Whatever it is…I feel it coming!

For more of this month’s Instagram challenge, head over to my Instagram @nerdinthesand or follow along here:

Lizzie’s Solo Ride

Disney World Scavenger Hunt blog

Lizzie's Solo Disney Adventure Blog Scavenger Hunt Nerd

I LOVE Disney. If you’ve been reading me for any length of time, you know this. That being said, I’ve never done Disney on my own before. I’ve always gone with friends or family. And the day is usually very mapped out. Everyone has their top picks and there is lots to cover in a short period of time. I love to go with a plan and I love to go with people, but this day was different.

There was something really freeing and exciting about a solo adventure. Just me, nerdself and I.

I did have an agenda in the form of Crazy for Disney’s scavenger hunt. It kept my day just organized enough without feeling rushed. And since I only paid for parking and dole whips, I didn’t feel like I had to “get my money’s worth.” There is no shortage of Disney adventures in my future, that’s for dang sure!

So take a look at my adventures and if you want to do a scavenger hunt of your own try Crazy for Disney’s. But also, keep an eye out for my own scavenger hunt. There were some things I definitely wanted to add on the list (and some that I did add on the list!)

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First up was Hollywood Studios:

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What I found at Hollywood…

  1. A Movie Theater
  2. Large Green Army Men
  3. 1950s Diner
  4. Giant Guitar
  5. Kermit the Frog
  6. Star Wars Characters
  7. Tower of Terror
  8. Giant Letter Blocks
  9. Woody or Jessie
  10. Mickey Mouse Balloon
  11. Handprints in Cement
  12. An AT-AT
  13. A Potato Head

(Things on the list I couldn’t find or didn’t have time to find…A Giant Ant or Bug, Mater, Pizza Planet, Giant Mouse Ears, A Spaceship.)

Next was Epcot:

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What I found at Epcot…

  1. Giant Silver Sphere
  2. Someone Wearing a Sombrero
  3. Boat (Monorail was on the list, but I substituted it for a boat ride.)
  4. Characters Made of Plants (this picture is actually from Magic Kingdom, I couldn’t find plant characters at Epcot to save my life!!)
  5. A Planet (BAM! I found 2!!)
  6. Statue of a Viking
  7. A Chinese Building
  8. American Flag (I spent way too long trying to get a picture of the flag flying. Alas!)
  9. A Clock Tower (thanks Germany!)
  10. A Park Bench
  11. A Street Band
  12. Coral Reef
  13. Nemo
  14. A Sea Turtle
  15. A Live Disney Character

(Things on the list I couldn’t find or didn’t have time to find…Statue of a Horse, A Double Decker Bus, A Kidcot Sign, A Dinosaur.)

Then, Animal Kingdom:

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What I found at Animal Kingdom:

  1. Tree of Life
  2. Statue of a Disney Character
  3. A Dinosaur
  4. Live Elephant
  5. Live Gorilla
  6. A Large Mountain
  7. A Train
  8. A Safari Vehicle
  9. A Stream/ Flowing Water
  10. A Bus
  11. A Live Disney Character
  12. A Large Set of Bones
  13. Someone Wearing a Safari Hat (Bonus for finding someone wearing a hat and a vest!)
  14. Someone Wearing a Vest
  15. A Truck Selling Ice Cream
  16. Street Band
  17. Rafiki (Got a two for one on this one with #2)

(Things on the list I couldn’t find or didn’t have time to find…I only couldn’t find Flik from a Bug’s Life and it was only cause I was running out of time.)

Finally, Magic Kingdom:

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What I found at Magic Kingdom:

  1. Monorail
  2. Someone Wearing Mouse Ears (so many to choose from including myself!)
  3. Statue of Walt Disney
  4. A Horse
  5. A Map
  6. A Balloon
  7. A Train
  8. A Castle (Correction…THE Castle!)
  9. A Popcorn Cart
  10. A Big Treehouse
  11. A Flying Elephant
  12. A Pirate
  13. A Princess
  14. Turkey Leg (I added this one to the list)
  15. A Spaceship
  16. A Former U.S. President (Lots to choose from but I went with good ole Abe)
  17. A Teacup
  18. A Flying Carpet
  19. Mickey Mouse (sorta cheated on this one and used #2 twice…time crunch)
  20. Dole Whip (I also added this one to the list, Dole Whip is an absolute must!!)

(Things on the list I couldn’t find or didn’t have time to find…I only missed Winnie the Pooh at Magic Kingdom and it’s because I was trying to find the Pooh himself. Oh, well…next time!)

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

Quality over Quantity

Pick your friend's nose E Cards friendship blog post

Think back to when you were in the 2nd grade. How many friends did you have? If you’re a social butterfly like me, then you had lots of friends. I knew practically everyone in the 2nd grade at my little, country elementary school and they all knew me. I was the one who was always on the play ground holding court and making sure everyone had room on the jungle gym. If you can’t get along on the jungle gym then there’s no hope for you in the halls of a school. I tried very hard to make people feel welcome and accepted, which lead to my bevy of friends.

Jungle Gym Unsplash photos by Daniel Ruyter blog post friendship
Photo: Unsplash.com by Daniel Ruyter

Flash forward to high school and gym time was an entirely different story. Not only do jungle gyms disappear in 6th grade (sadly) but so did my popularity. In 6th grade I began to show signs of becoming awkwardly tall and awkward in personality. The quirks that set you apart and make you cool when you’re little, immediately are seen as weird when you hit middle school. It’s all about homogeny and I wasn’t good at that game. So, I had a couple friends that were my besties, but that was really it. All the awkwardness of middle school was only exacerbated by age and my entrance into high school. And to some degree it continued into college.

The older I got the smaller my pool of friends became. In my head, I still had this picture of me on the jungle gym surrounded by all kinds of people, all kinds of friends. The friends that will get your back in a fight. The friends that will tell you it’s stupid to fight. The friends that started the fight. The friends who are fighting you. The friends on the sidelines cheering you on. I’m the kind of girl that cherishes all the friends. The more the merry.

So, to have a handful still throws me sometimes. I feel like I’m doing something wrong if I invite my friends to my party and 4 people show up. It doesn’t diminish the importance of those 4 friends, it’s just that sometimes my head doesn’t reconcile itself to my present reality. It may sound juvenile or silly, but what it really is, is completely honest. I have a hard time with reality. Especially when I paint really gorgeous thoughts and ideas in my head. Why wouldn’t I want to spend more time up there?

Friendship blog post Unsplash photos by Brooke Cagle
Photo: Unsplash.com by Brooke Cagle

See, in my head, it’s easy to be friends with people, but in reality it is difficult to be a friend and have friends sometimes. Especially when most of my besties are far, far away. There are times when I think that I’d make a better cave person than a friend. I want so desperately to do life with people that I care about, that I forget that there are people who don’t want to do life with me back. It’s still a new concept for me, hopeless optimist that I am. But it has become part of my present reality. A decidedly painful reality.

I get it. We all have one life to live and we have to make choices about who gets our time. Time is very important to me, so I understand spending it well. I guess the thought that I would be someone undeserving of a person’s time and energy is just so baffling, because I find myself occasionally delightful at best and moderately tolerable at worst. I hope that doesn’t sound narcissistic. It’s just that I spent all those awkward teen and college years trying to be anyone else. And I’ve finally accepted that I’m a pretty neat person. So I don’t apologize for liking myself after all this time. Liking yourself is a gift!

With that in mind, I want to give the time that is allotted to me to those individuals who enhance my life’s journey. And what I’ve learned is that quantity does not matter. Who cares how many friends you have? What matters is who will show up when you need them the most. The quality of friendship far outweighs the latter.

I am blessed to count on my hands a number of people who would drop everything to take my call. And who I would do the same for. I hate to make it sound harsh and I truly hate adulting. While cutting out the chaff may be difficult, it is a vitally important step in the process of growing up.

That’s not to say that I don’t still sometimes wish I was back on the jungle gym where things were easy and you became friends with someone simply because you were both wearing the same color…it’s just not physically true anymore. And I don’t have time for the fair-weather friends of the world. What happens when the storm comes? Who’s holding the umbrella with you? That’s the friend I want in my corner. It’s the kind of friend I hope that I am to my quality handful.

Friendship blog post  Unsplash photos by Pavel Badrtdinov
Photo: Unsplash.com by Pavel Badrtdinov

You’d think that social media would help immensely with this friendship problem, but it only muddies the waters. It only creates a false sense  of closeness with people who let go of you a long time ago and you just forgot to delete from your contact list. So, gentle reader, choose quality over quantity. You can pick your friends and you can pick your nose, but you can’t pick your friend’s nose…unless they’re a quality friend, then they’ll probably pick your nose right back!

Pick your friend's nose E Cards friendship blog post
Photo: SomeEcards.com

The Only Girl in the World

When I was growing up…there was only one girl in the whole world that I wanted to be. I didn’t have a lot of choices. Leading ladies in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s were few and far between to say the least.
Princess Leia Organa girl Star Wars blog
One girl in Star Wars (Princess Leia.) One girl in Superman (Lois Lane.) One girl in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (April O’Neil.) Two girls in Power Rangers…what a revelation (Pink and Yellow.) One girl in Terminator (Sarah Connor.) Are you sensing the trend.
There’s something that all these ladies have in common…they are memorable. They are iconic. I wanted to be all of them, but again none more so than Princess Leia.

Do you ever wonder what the writers and directors and movie makers of 80’s were thinking when they created these amazing films and amazing stories and then slapped a token chick in there. They didn’t skip on the bad assery, they just skipped on the quantity.

The battle for the ladies is not over. It’s still going on. To date Wonder Woman has never made it to the big screen. I know…she’s on her way. But dang, 2016 and the most well known female superhero of all time has only been allowed to shine on the small screen? And how many Batman reboots have we had? Come on now.

For me, Princess Leia was the only girl in the world. I always got to be her. I wanted everything that had her on it. What were my options as an avid lover of Star Wars? Aunt Beru? Mon Mothma? Both female characters. Both important in their own right. But there was only one Princess Leia.

Sure, things are changing and there are a whole lot more girls in the world of Star Wars for young girls to look up to and dress up as and base entire life choices on! And none so exciting as Rey. (That’s not to say girls can’t emulate the boys. Because go feminism and gender swapping and equality for all!!)

Change takes time. I’m not saying it’s ok. I’m just saying that’s how change works sometimes. It’s slow way too slow and I think Hollywood is still catching up. But with Star Wars The Force Awakens pulling in the record breaking money that it has been since December 18th and a fierce lady lead at the helm, the fat cats must be reading the writing on the wall!! And that is an encouraging thought!

Rey Star Wars blog

5 Fandom Friday

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5 Characters I Want to Dress Up as for Halloween

I always have a hard time deciding what to be for Halloween every year. Mainly because there are so many beautiful and fun options! And while I usually a pretty decisive decision maker, at Halloween time I tend to waffle, because I want to be all the things!
This year I’ve managed to make my decision for my Halloween costume. I’m while not ready to reveal which on I’ve chosen. These are the options I chose from and if you have a guess, go ahead and comment below!

#1: Harley Quinn
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Harley is my favorite character in the DC Universe and my favorite villain in all the comic verses. I actually cosplayed Harley at Christmas with my family last year. But there’s a new Harley coming our way in Suicide Squad next year (though I prefer the classic Batman: the animated series version of Harley) and I love the chance to dress as the Joker’s crazy lady love. So she always makes the short list!

#2: Jerrica Benton aka JEM
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Yep, I always dreamed of being a rockstar. And being a child of the 80’s, there are few role models as pink, sparkly and fierce as Jerrica Benton aka JEM and her Holograms, Aja, Kimber, Shana and Raya. So I always look forward to cosplaying this music mogul. Plus I’ve done her hair for 30 Days Of Nerdy Hair, so I know I can pull it off. Very strong option.

#3: Topanga Lawrence
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I’m currently knee deep in the Disney Channel spin off of the beloved 90’s sitcom, Boy Meets World…Girl Meets World. It’s Topanga and Corey’s kids who are now learning about the world (and it’s truly delightful) but original Topanga will always be a favorite. And I’ve never dresses up as her before. Strong contender.

#4: Kimberly aka Pink Ranger
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Every child of the 90’s should feel me on this one. The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers were the be all and end all of crime fighting teenagers in the 90’s. Plus Tommy…aka Green Ranger, then White Ranger…Hubba hubba.

#5: Princess Leia Organa
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Princess Leia is always and I mean always on my list!! She is the sassiest and bad assiest of Princesses and she has so many great looks to choose from. I dressed up as Leia for Halloween when I was a kid and I’ve done plenty of her hairstyles for 30 Days of Nerdy Hair, but I’ve actually never cosplayed Princess Leia as an adult. So she is absolutely a major contender this year make that every year!

We Have to go Back to the Future

It’s October 21, 2015. How are celebrating Back to the Future Day?

A ride in a Delorean?

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A BTTF movie marathon?

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A little Marty McFly cosplay?

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Why not donate to a great cause like the Michael J. Fox Foundation.

So many ways to celebrate a movie we love so much on a day futuristic day like today!

Dear JJ…

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Dear JJ Abrams,
Dude! It must be the hardest of jobs. And the pressure is truly on…I’m sure you’ve felt it.
We, the fans, are chomping at the bit. If you’ve stepped into social media for more than a nanosecond, you know this!
And now that the last trailer (and most epic of trailers ever to be seen by human eyes) has dropped, we can all sit back and patiently wait for our hopes and dreams to come true. That’s how the internet works these days, right?

Can I just say, Mr. Abrams…you are dealing with an entire generation’s heart.

That’s a big thing to hand over…and sure I’ve watched everything you’ve ever done, but we are strangers. I don’t know your favorite color (though I’m sure a simple Google search could clear that up.) I don’t know your third grade teacher or what flowers were at your wedding (again I’m sure Google knows.)

What I do know is that your heart must speak my heart’s language! Which is a mix of Elvish, Wookie, Klingon and Dothraki!
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Perhaps you feel as excited and scared as we do. Perhaps even knowing what’s coming, you don’t really know WHAT’S coming, though you know the plot of the movie that holds our attention.

With most movies, it’s here one day and gone tomorrow.
But Star Wars? Star Wars is a legacy. Star Wars has lasted decades. Star Wars is everlasting. And perhaps…just perhaps you took this job because you wanted to be part of that story. Let’s be honest…it’s what every single Star Wars fan dreams of…to be a part of this story.

I trust your vision. I don’t know what’s up with Luke or anything else about it really. I have a feeling you’ve been very specific in showing us exactly what you want us to see. So… I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I know you have as much riding on this adventure as we do (dare I say, a little more.) And I have faith! My heart can tell a kindred spirit and I feel ya, bro!
The force IS with you…I just know it is!!
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And to the fans and the boycotters and the haters and the lovers…back off our boy! Nerds, he’s one of us!!
Nerds…we are getting new Star Wars movie! What more in this life do you want???
(Don’t answer that…I don’t care. I’m happy and living on Tatooine with a pet Bantha and a tall glass of blue milk…and I can’t hear a word you’re saying!!)

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Love,
Nerd in the City!