Thrift Store Cosplay Day 24

Thrift Store Cosplay Day 24: GLOW on Netflix Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling 80's Leotard fashion blog post

Thrift Store Cosplay fashion blogger nerd post Instagram challenge

Day 24: GLOW

This is one of my new favorite shows from Netflix this year. A show about the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, set in the 80’s (my favorite era!) If you haven’t seen this show yet, you should.

I didn’t chose a specific character to cosplay, I sort of did an homage to the whole genre. But I think the character I most resemble today is Betty Gilpin’s Debbie. If that doesn’t mean anything to you, it’s cause you didn’t take my advice yet and haven’t seen the show…what are you waiting for? Go watch it, I’ll wait!

Thrift Store Cosplay Day 24: GLOW on Netflix Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling 80's Leotard fashion blog post

Leotard & High Tops from Plato’s Closet

Headband from Sweaty Betty

Thrift STore Cosplay Day 24 flat lay: Glow on Netflix Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling

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Thrift Store Cosplay Day 20

Thrift Store Cosplay Day 20 Romeo + Juliet Baz Luhrman Leonardo Dicaprio fashion blog post

Thrift Store Cosplay fashion blogger nerd post Instagram challenge

Day 20: Romeo from Romeo + Juliet

Ok, let’s talk about Romeo + Juliet! When I was in middle school, the Baz Luhrmann version of Shakespeare’s most classic love story came out in theaters and I was instantly in love! And we’re talking pre-Titanic Leo love, which is an entirely different kind of love. One year later, Leonardo Dicaprio would become the biggest heart throb on the planet. But for those of us who started our love of Leo off with Romeo Montague, this one’s for you!

But I don’t just want to mention my deep and abiding love for Mr. Dicaprio (which has never diminished, even after all these years) I want to also talk about my love of Shakespeare, which was largely ignited by this very movie. After seeing it (about 100 times) I started reading it over and over again. In fact, my dad got me my own volume of Shakespeare’s works for Christmas that year and wrote a beautiful note to me about how Leo started me down a path and he was happy to have me continue down it. I memorized all the great monologues and would recite them in my room to my collection of beanie babies…I was a really cool kid, I promise!!

To this day, Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet is one of my favorite movies and one of my favorite of Shakespeare’s plays. I’m sure there were teachers that tried to get me to read Shakespeare, perhaps my parents even attempted it. Shakespeare’s plays are enduring and everlasting. They are timeless and beautiful, but for my little middle school heart, it took Leonardo Dicaprio to spark my interest. And look at me now!!

Thrift Store Cosplay Day 20 Romeo + Juliet Baz Luhrman Leonardo Dicaprio

Shirt from my dad’s closet

Pants from Plato’s Closet

Shoes from Goodwill

Necklace from my Granny

Thrift Store cosplay Day 20 Romeo and Juliet Leonardo Dicaprio flat lay fashion blog post

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#PrincessBootCamp – Mulan Meal Plan

Disney Princess Boot Camp Mulan Week Chinese meal plan fitness nerd blog post

Princess Boot Camp Mulan Week Disney Fitness Blog

After a brief hiatus, we are charging forward into Week 4: Mulan Week! This week we are in China and studying all about Chinese culture, foods and fitness all while keeping Mulan herself as the central inspiration for the week.

When the Emperor sends out conscription notices to every family in the face of a looming attack from the Huns, Fa Mulan takes the place of her father, Fa Zhou, who is too old to fight. In an effort to spare her father, Mulan disguises herself as a man and uses the moniker, “Ping” to gain access to the training camp and not only pretends to be a soldier in the Emperor’s army, but eventually becomes one!

Disney Princess Boot Camp Mulan Week Chinese meal plan fitness nerd blog post
Photo by Cristina Fowler (@thelittlestfowler)

With the help of Mushu, a diminutive dragon who was decidedly NOT sent by Mulan’s ancestors to aid her, Mulan manages to find her place in the world in the most unlikely way. She discovers a strength in herself that was not permitted for women at the time. And, in turn, becomes the hero she deserves to be. (And in the meantime she gets the hots for Captain Li Shang, voiced by very American actor, Donny Osmond.)

Mulan is voiced by Chinese actress, Ming-Na Wen (most recently Agent May on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), while her singing voice is Lea Salonga (also the voice of Jasmine.)

This is another movie that lives in that happy place for me. I was a freshman in high school when this movie came out and was still very much into Disney movies! So despite it’s flaws, I can easily find it’s virtues. But I can also call a spade a spade and recognize that Disney could have done a lot better to do justice to Chinese culture and representation.

That being said, here’s a look at my meal plan for Mulan Week, which includes a rich assortment of Chinese foods:

-green tea

-meat (chicken, pork and moderate amounts of red meat)

-Chinese fruits (kiwi, lychee, dragon fruit, pomelo, rambutan, ya pear)

disney Princess Boot Camp Mulan Week Meal Plan
Rambutan…tricky to get into, but ultimately delicious!

-Chinese vegetables (bok choy, napa cabbage, water spinach, watercress, pea shoots, bitter melon)

-Other vegetables (broccoli, green beans, carrots, cauliflower)

-soy sauce (use very moderately or swap out regular sauce for a low sodium or light version)

-soup at every meal (the Chinese believe in yin and yang meals that consist of wet and dry foods together)

-white rice (another thing to eat moderately)

A note about switching from a Native American (Pocahontas Week) meal plan to a Chinese (Mulan Week) meal plan. It was a drastic change for my stomach and I tried very hard to ease into the new assortment of foods. I had never tried some of these fruits and vegetables, which was a lot of fun. But it meant that I didn’t know how they would effect me. Just be careful and try things in small amounts and who knows, you might discover some delicious flavors you’ll want to keep eating after Mulan Week is over! I personally loved the Chinese ya pear. It is a fruit I have added to my shopping list permanently!!

There are plenty of other Chinese foods to choose from, this is just the shopping list I was working with. I tried to keep it balanced with the food groups I’d already been working with. Fruit, lots and lots of vegetables, very moderate grains, and meats. The new piece to this week’s equation was the balance of wet foods and dry foods creating the yin/yang meals found in an average Chinese diet. Another interesting fact I found out, the Chinese believe vegetables to be more of a main course item than meat. So a lot of the recipes are veggie centric, which I really enjoyed! Stir-fry was an easy go to for dinners when I wanted something filling and easy to make.

Disney Princess Boot Camp Mulan Week Meal Plan stir Fry nerd blog post

Enjoy!!

New Year, New Word

As you may (or may not, if this is your first visit to my blogosphere) know, I gave up New Year’s Resolutions a few years ago. I decided it was time to stop changing things about myself and start challenging myself to simply be better.

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Each year I choose a word that will become a mantra, a creed, a manifesto to use for the whole of the year.

2016’s word was “Free” and to be honest, it was the opposite of a free-ing year. At times I wanted to be anywhere other than where I was. But in the aftermath of the year that seemed interminable, I can’t help but reflect upon those inalienable rights that I have taken for granted, like…you guessed it, Freedom.

But I don’t want to start this year with the same mistakes as last year. The challenge is to be better. And better is what I intend to be.

With that being said, this year I have chosen the word “Believe” to represent my journey through 2017. Somewhere between New York, California and Florida I stopped believing. I stopped believing in myself, in humanity, and in basic human decency. And while my belief in God never wavered, my trust in Him sure did and my belief in His plan over mine definitely took a hit. God and I have been in a bit of a knock down, drag out for the majority of the year.

But let’s be honest, I was only one doing any fighting in this relationship.

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Believe is one of those airy concepts like “Dream” or “Imagine.” It’s not quite as tangible as other words might be. “Trust” is a word you can sink your teeth into, but Believe…it’s more abstract. There are a lot of ways it can be applied.

That’s exactly what this year is gonna be about. What exactly do I believe? What do I believe about myself? What do I believe about the world? What do I believe are the best practices from a political standpoint? And how does my belief in faith translate to my daily life?

This is a big one, guys. You know how you never pray for patience because if you do God’s gonna throw something or someone at you that will force you to BE patient? This feels like that kind of mine field. Figuring out my core beliefs could take me anywhere.

The Liz of 2016 wasn’t ready for that kind of adventure. The Liz of 2016 wasn’t ready for that kind of challenge. The Liz of 2016 was merely treading water. But no more!

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I hope you’re ready to share in this journey with me. And I hope you choose a word that will represent your year. If you decide to give up on resolving to change, then share your word in the comments below and I will do my best to encourage you this year.

What I’ve learned most from 2016 is that community and encouragement are more important than ever. There are way too many things in this world, in this country that will divide us if we let them. The way we speak, the words we say, the colors of our skin, the religions that we practice. That’s why we have to find common ground. The fact that we are all flawed human beings is a great place to start!!!

Have a Happy New Year and know that I BELIEVE in you!

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Yes…YOU!

How to Train for the Zombie Apocalypse

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Yes, the worst has indeed happened and the evil undead are roaming our earth. Are you prepared to do what you must to survive? Chances are, most of you won’t make it to see next week. In a zombie apocalypse…like this one, there’s no time for sugar coating things.

I can tell you what it will take for you to survive, but ultimately it’s up to you to make it happen.

Let’s start with something simple, your diet. You’re probably used to a cushy diet of fast food, donuts and soda. Hey, you’re only human (at least, right now you are!) The truth is, the first week is pretty critical when it comes to perishable food items. So the rule of thumb for week one is “if you find it, eat it.” If, for example, you’ve found yourself in the vicinity of a Krispy Kreme donut, eat it! Chances are, it could be your last. But don’t overdo it. Eating poorly and too much will slow you down and that Krispy Kreme will be your last, but not because no one has time to make donuts anymore, get my drift?

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This first week of encountering zombies will be tough enough for you, without introducing a stringent training and eating schedule. My best advice in this turbulent time is to moderately enjoy yourself as much as you can and keep within a manageable caloric range for your height, weight and body type. Also keep in mind that you will be a lot more active this week and you may need some extra calories to keep your energy up. Calories from bad fats and sugars will make you feel sluggish and to be honest, that’s just what the zombies want!!

This week we’re gonna focus on cardio, so get moving (or the zombies will do it for you.) Hopefully you and your family made a plan before this apocalypse hit, an emergency strategy for what to do and where to meet. If you didn’t, well I hope you said your goodbyes before the apocalypse and enjoy my good advice while you can, this blog may be your last.

Ok…so you have some guidelines for getting your body moving and eating all the perishable items you can find, but not overdoing it. That’s a great place to start. Staying home in your locked house is going to seem like a great idea right now…it’s not. In all likelihood, at least one or more of your neighbors has been turned and soon they will be looking for delicious, juicy brains to eat. If you live, isolated, in the country, you may be able to last a little longer. The suburbs…not quite as long and if you live in the city…GET OUT OF THERE NOW!!!!

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It’s good, at this early stage in the apocalypse, to identify your weapons. Get comfortable with your baseball bats, your katana swords, your crossbows, your bowie knive. Guns are fine, but keep in mind that bullets will become scarce and hitting the brain with 1 or 2 shots is actually much harder than movies and TV shows portray. Make it easier on yourself and get comfortable with hand to hand combat using whatever is around you. But more on that later.

It’s crucial right now to get moving, like I mentioned before. Walking, running, practicing sprints…these are your focus. If you have a car, great. Stockpile as much fuel as you can and keep moving. But you’re still gonna want to get good at evading surprises and learning some simple parkour moves wouldn’t be the worst thing you could do. But there will be lots more parkour in weeks 3 and 4. Right now…RUN! It’s the best way to stay physically fit and alert for what’s to come.

In this early stage of the apocalypse, the virus is pretty contained to large cities. This is the chance you need or rather, the chance you have to start getting prepared for the worst. Food isn’t scarce yet. That’s a good thing. You’re gonna want to start walking/ running twice a day for 30 mins each. If you can go longer, do it. The longer you keep that heart beating, the better off you’ll be. Challenge yourself, but don’t push yourself too far past your current limits.

This is the only chance you’ll get to take your time and get the lay of the land. These are called recon missions. Did you have a gym membership before the apocalypse hit? Money wasted. The world is now your gym and it is going to push you harder than any physical trainer ever did.

My final advice for your first week of training is to drink the cold beer, white wine, chilled juice, smoothies, etc. now because refrigerators will soon be as dead as the undead. Those finer enjoyments will be a thing of the past. But remember this…it’s wildly important…drunkenness will get you killed. So do not get sloppy!

This is a week of learning your limits, testing your strengths and being thankful for the little things. But don’t forget to watch your back. Once the virus hits the nearest metropolitan area, it will change your life and being thankful will be as hard to come by as that Krispy Kreme donut!

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Stay alive!

30 Days of Nerdy Hair – Day 8

30 Days of Nerdy Hair Day 8 Princess Jasmine Aladdin Disney blog post

30 Days of Nerdy Hair blog post

Day 8: Princess Jasmine from Aladdin

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Don’t forget that you can join in the fun!! We will have plenty of September left for you!

30 Days of Nerdy Hair blog post September

I Don’t Know About You…

Pray for Orlando

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I don’t know about you, but whenever a horrific tragedy, like what took place this weekend in Orlando…my city, takes place it’s hard for me to collect my thoughts. If my thoughts could be seen they’d look like this…

ANGER

SADNESS

PRAYER

WHY GOD

back to ANGER

a little more SADNESS

And when I sit down to speak about it or write about it, I feel fractured between wanting to find assurance that the world is a way more beautiful place than it feels and not really believing that it is. Fractured between wanting to cry and wanting to scream. Fractured between thanking God for my life and asking Him why things like this happen at all. Fractured between knowing that my everyday life is waiting and wanting to become some sort of vigilante assassin the likes of Elektra or Black Widow.

Lord knows I’m not alone. Take a look at social media right now and see that people are fractured. Spirits are torn apart. And yes, it’s beautiful to see my city come together and rally around the victims and their families. It’s amazing to see the blood banks so full of donors that they had to turn people away. That is an encouraging sight that we cannot forget!! But we also cannot ignore the bigger community of humans that continues to be divided when horrible things happen. Half the country says “get rid of guns,” the other half clings tightly to their weapons. And who is right?

Can we all agree that humans aren’t the only common element in these tragedies. Can we start to talk about other countries that don’t have the staggering statistics of gun violence that plague the whole of America? Can we start holding the human(s) responsible…responsible, not the community that human is a part of, not the religion that human is a part of, not the sexual preference that human identifies with?

I am not the white, American that killed Christina Grimmie on Friday.

And neither are you the statistic that groups you to a killer. If you take up semi-automatic weapons or any other kind of weapon and shoot up a bar of happy people celebrating life…then you are that KILLER. It’s that simple. It should be.

But it isn’t. Why the hell isn’t it!!!??

There’s the bigger issue at work here. The issue of people vs people. Forget the fact that an Islamic extremist shot up an LGBT club. Forget the fact that a white man with 2 guns killed a singer the very night before. Forget the fact that a South Korean shot up a college campus or that a privileged, white, Stanford student raped a girl and is getting off with light sentencing. Forget all that for a moment. Only for a moment because we have a human problem.

Until humans value the lives of other humans above their race, religion, sexual preference, gender orientation, occupation or anything else that divides us as simple human beings, then the blood shed will not stop. 

I read someone who was arguing that if we make gun laws stricter, then we have to take away people’s cars because car accidents cause more deaths than shootings. I think they’ve missed the point. It’s easy to miss the point if you’re looking for reasons to miss the point! The operative word here is accident. Car accidents are horrible and tragic and sad and i wish they never happened to anyone, ever. The difference is that shootings like what happened at Pulse on Saturday night are no accident. No one “accidentally” purchases an AR-15 and then “accidentally” calls the police to “accidentally” align themselves with a terrorist organization and then “accidentally” shoots 50 people dead and wounds 50+ more. Nope…not an accident!

The people who are spreading hatred towards Muslims for being killers and towards the LGBT community for deserving death for “sinful lifestyles” and towards white men for being rapists and black men for being thugs are hardly better than the killers themselves. The lack of respect for human life doesn’t begin when a gun is purchased. It doesn’t begin when the trigger is pulled. The lack of respect for human life begins long before that. It’s in the words we say to one other. It’s in the way we handle conflict. It’s in the way we choose to believe the best instead of assuming the worst. And it’s in the way we respond in the aftermath.

How will you respond?

I implore you…do more. Even if it’s as simple as trying to change your own damn mind about something. Even if it’s simply seeing another person’s point of view, stepping in their shoes, trying to understand instead of sticking your feet in the mud and holding your ground come hell or high water.

“The time is always right to do what is right!” You know who said that? Martin Luther King, Jr. You know how he died? From a gun shot. Do you think that would have changed the message of his life of non-violence? Would he have bought a gun if he knew he’d die from one?

I would never suggest you lose your right to bear arms. It is Constitutional. I’m simply saying there’s something missing in the Constitution. The right to live. Is that not more important? Is that not something we can agree upon? I’m scared that the answer is no. And that is not encouraging at all.

I don’t want to end on a note of sadness. I like to keep it upbeat. But I don’t think I have it in me to turn this one around. So I’ll simply end by saying that I love you.

What color are you? I DON’T CARE.

What do you believe? I DON’T CARE!

Where do you come from? I DON’T CARE!!

Who do you love? I DON’T CARE!!!

I believe in you. I think your life is worth living. I just love you!

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!)