Everyday Cosplay — Star Butterfly (Star vs. The Forces of Evil)

I just love magical girls, okay? Star is so much fun to watch, I kinda wish I had her when I was a pre-teen. I really wanted to recreate her fun outfit. Typically when I ignore price points I omit the item listing, but a few of these are actually affordable! So I kept the listing, just ignore the fact that the totally plastic(-looking) shoulder bag is over $1000.

I also wanted to pay homage to some other animated magic ladies with the Sailor Moon compact, and Princess Bubblegum Doc Martens. (LSP also has a pair of Doc Martens! They may have gone better here because they have a big yellow star on them. Plus, Star is also a space princess.)

Star Butterfly (Star vs. the Forces of Evil)

A line dress
$14 CAD – makemechic.com

Activewear pants
$92 CAD – evolvefitwear.com

Dr. Martens dr martens boots
$140 CAD – 6pm.com

Mawi shoulder handbag
$1,140 CAD – luisaviaroma.com

Bling Jewelry heart earrings
$30 CAD – bluefly.com

Tech accessory
$46 CAD – society6.com

Blush
yesstyle.com

Trying Out Audiobooks

 

I’m a slow reader. Don’t try to assuage me with sweet sweet lies about how I save money on books (I don’t) or that I get to savour my books (really??). It just kinda sucks. It takes forever to get through a book, unless it’s “Harry Potter” type good, then maybe a day or two. Now it takes me even longer because I just don’t sit down and read anymore.

A friend of mine who is an avid reader told me she just doesn’t have time for books anymore, so she listens to audiobooks. I thought that was a great idea, and she suggested I try my local library’s website. If you have a library card you can download audiobooks for free. So I went to my library for a card and downloaded my first audiobook: The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami*. It’s a short novel so I finished listening to it in an hour.

I don’t remember the last time I read a book in an hour.

However, the feeling of an audiobook isn’t the same. I’m a very tactile reader; I like to feel the pages, and turn the back cover over when I’m finished. The audiobook experience lacked this kind of satisfaction that I usually get with a paper book. However I was still able to enjoy the book, as well as do something with my hands (I was drawing at the time, but I can see myself doing lots of knitting with an audiobook going).

Having finished my first audiobook, I wanted to try another one — a longer one. My next download was Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. It always seemed interesting to me but I couldn’t quite get my head into the world. The audiobook helped with that! It was easier, for some reason, to situate myself in the novel’s story which is in the future in between a virtual reality game and real life.

Furthermore, with this second book I realized that the narrator is key to the enjoyment of the book. The narrator of The Strange Library was alright but nothing special. I’m really enjoying Ready Player One because Wil Wheaton is narrating and brings a lot of character and emotion.

I think as audiobooks become more popular (thank you, Audible, for sponsoring all my favourite YouTubers!) the narrators will be better and better, making the overall experience of an audiobook that much more enjoyable. I have already adjusted to not having a paper book when I tried ebooks, so this next step into audiobooks isn’t too difficult for me. I’m still having trouble calling it “reading,” but that’s just semantics. Here’s to absorbing more stories!

 

* I somewhat regret making this an audiobook choice because once I finished reading it I learned that the hard copy is full of illustrations. It would have been an entirely different experience to read the story the way it was published on paper.

Fandoms of the Summer #5FF

The last time I wrote something for #5FandomFriday was November of last year! I think it’s time to pick it back up. There are no prompts at the moment but I wanted to reflect on some of the great media content I consumed over the past few months.

Orange is the New Black

Season 4 was unreal. Things in the prison got crazy, and we got some backstory of some beloved characters like Blanca, Suzanne, and Lolly. I can’t choose whose story was the most interesting or touching. I just love it all! I think I watched this whole season in two days. This show is literally a gift. The death at the end of the season was unexpected and heart-wrenching. I didn’t realize it would happen until it was happening. It’s – just – not – FAIR!! 

But on the bright side, this season gave back Nicky Nicholls.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine

This is literally my favourite sitcom right now. I know season 3 aired much earlier but I live by Netflix schedules, okay? Also, this is what I’ve had on in the background while I doodle. Solid overarching story, character development, and Jake being a dumb puppy. I also enjoy that Jake and Amy finally get together, and Amy sets an example of how to communicate to your partner that they are being an asshole.

Also after thinking I was an Amy for a very long time (with a touch of Gina), I realized I have been thinking with a gender bias and I am 100% Charles Boyle.

American Horror Story

Specifically, Coven. Summer used to be about True Blood for me and I was feeling nostalgic for something southern, magical, and kinda witchy. In comes AHS: Coven to fill this void in my soul. I really enjoy the different stories they tell but Coven was really enthralling for me. From what people tell me, you’ll either love it or hate it. I loved it. Jessica Lange is a BOSS.

Also Stevie Nicks was there!

How to Get Away With Murder

Honestly, I had another show listed here but I recently became hooked on this show. I finished season one in no time and I’m on season two. Viola Davis is a gift, tbh. I love the mix of courtroom drama and mystery. Plus the cast is way more diverse than I’m used to seeing. Take a look at the above photo. More than half the characters are black! And Laurel is Spanish and was dating a brown guy for a time. And Conner is gay. His boyfriend is east Asian. I just really like the diverse casting in this show. It doesn’t feel forced, I dig it a lot.

Plus, I love looking at Alfred Enoch thinking “it’s little Dean Thomas!”

You grew up super hot, little Dean. Well done.

Stranger Things

As if you didn’t see this coming. I have been obsessed with this show! It feels like a Stephen King novel come to life. There’s all sorts of 80s nostalgia, including my favourite movie as a kid: The Goonies. Dustin is literally a combination of Mouth and Chunk. Aside from Eleven who is everyone’s favourite, I really love Nancy. (I did an Everyday Cosplay of her!) I have complicated feelings towards Steve. Basically he’s an asshole but not as big of an asshole as he could have been. I hope in season two that he and Nancy are over, but he’s still very much a part of Team Monster Hunters.

Plus we can’t forget about Barb. The sweet cinnamon roll, the true star of the show.

The YouTube Tag

After ignoring my channel for a little bit I finally got around to doing the YouTube tag video. So if you’ve ever wondered about why I do YouTube or how I make my videos, I answer some of that here! Also I treated myself to a face mask because why not? Something to put on the next Sunday Self-Love post! My face felt really smooth and soft after I took that mask off. 10/10 very enjoyable!

Sunday Self-Love

Anna over at NerdyAlerty began this lovely series on her blog and encouraged others to participate. Sunday Self-Love is about acknowledging the things you love about yourself; the things you have done to be good to yourself, and the things you are proud of accomplishing. Her series will be monthly, but I’m not sure if I will follow the same schedule.

I have therapy sessions every two weeks to help manage my anxiety (which has become more troublesome since moving back in with my dad), and she would like to see me being kinder to myself. Most of my thoughts are self-deprecating and very focused on what I didn’t do well/enough. When I make a mistake I immediately beat myself up over it. I’m bad at taking a step back to forgive myself and allow myself to be a flawed human. I like the idea of taking the time to acknowledge my strengths; my accomplishments; my attempts to be good to myself.

These posts won’t always contain extravagant things. As I said I’m not good at taking care of myself, so there may not always be spa nights or workouts. I’m trying to pull myself out of a rut and I can’t think of anything substantial that I’ve done for myself lately, but here goes nothing:

  1. I did my makeup on Friday. Putting on makeup always feels like I’m taking care of myself, and it gives me something creative to do with brushes and colours. I had gone bare-faced for a long time and it was nice to look like I was ready to socialize, even if I wasn’t. I even put my hair in a little braid!
  2. I cleaned my room. It took two days because I drag my feet and didn’t do a very productive job of it (it’s still not at 100%), but de-cluttering my space helped me de-clutter my mind.
  3. I stopped eating so shittily. I flip-flop between a healthy lifestyle and a total slobfest. I’m currently sort of a slobfest. I haven’t worked out in over a month even though I said this week would be the week I get back to it, but beginning to eat healthy is a good way for me to ease myself back into treating my body well.
  4. I started blogging again! I got the email that my domain renewal was coming up and I thought “shit, if I’m paying for this I should use it.” I work part time and need productive hobbies for my time off.
  5. I had coffee with a friend from high school. We haven’t talked in a long time but we live close by so we thought it’d be nice to reconnect. We talked a lot about jobs, relationships, life, etc. It was super refreshing and really nice to socialize and have a #PSL.

How to Make Friends in College

University was an extremely turbulent time for me. I feel like I may have made some poor choices, but the good thing is that I can look back and see why my train got wrecked. Late teens and early twenties is a weird time where most people are still trying to figure out who they are. Some people already have that figured out. Congratulations on being a well-rounded self-aware human. Let us slobs work on ourselves.

I didn’t know who I was or who I wanted to be, but they make such a big deal of “college friends” as if you meet your “college friends” in first year and they’re supposed to be your friends for your entire university career, and they’ll be the ones you’re friends with for the rest of your life. Sure, that can happen and it’s not a bad thing if it does. But it’s not a bad thing if it doesn’t. Finding your tribe can be difficult.

I had the wrong approach to making my friends. I sought out people who I wanted to be like (but knew I wasn’t like), and tried to fit in with them. Sure, we got along fine. We had no classes together, but we were buds. But I always felt like an outcast with them because, guess what! I wasn’t like them. We had different interests and habits and vibes. My main regret about university is not making more friends in my own department. Shockingly, that’s where you find the weirdos who are into the same stuff as you! In fact, I ended up befriending way more people from the English department after graduating because we kinda gravitated to each other. Because we like the same stuff.

A huge problem I faced (but was very bad at realizing it was a problem) was that I kept making friends who tried to mold me into versions of themselves. I suppose Uni!Nik was very malleable because I was so willing to become someone else instead of growing into myself. But I got lost in efforts to be more like some next person. I can’t stress how important it is to just be yourself. You. Your actual self. You are enough.

If I were to do it all over again, I would abide by these rules:

  1. Be yourself. Anyone who doesn’t want to be around your authentic self can fuck right off.
  2. Try to be friends with everyone. Yes people in your department is a great place to start, but mingle with everyone and find peeps who dig what you dig.
  3. Drop anyone who condescends to you. This is especially important for people studying the arts. Don’t let people, especially “friends,” tell you that what you study isn’t important, isn’t difficult, or isn’t worthwhile.
  4. Participate in a thing like class rep, clubs, plays, or whatever extracurricular teeters your totter.
  5. Bake a pie. I did this in first year res and offered slices to people on my floor. They’d come, have some pie, we’d chat and get to know each other. It was a great plan. 10/10 would do again.
This was not the friendship pie. This was the "I'm taking my English final tomorrow and I've lost my mind" cake.

This was not the friendship pie. This was the “I’m taking my English final tomorrow and I’ve lost my mind” cake. (My professor’s name was Tracy.) Circa, 2008.