Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Being a 'ReachOut Hero' for a day at Comic-Con

I was recently given the opportunity to volunteer in the ReachOut ChillOut room at comic-con. I have never gone to one of these conventions before but I do know that a lot of people cosplay and dress up. I wasn't planning on dressing up until some other YA's in another state mentioned they wanted to when their comic-con was happening so I figured I would give it a shot. It was loads of fun and a bonus was that I fitted in with so many people wearing costumes (there were some AMAZING ONES) or other 'geeky' attire.

This costume is all DIY and I will list resources where possible. The most expensive thing to make was the mask but that was because I wanted something different and cute to wear. I ended up wearing jeans, flats and my ReachOut shirt as the base then completed it with the cape, mask and cuffs.
I have also included links to substitutions/alternatives that I bought for back ups just in case nothing turned out as pictured. I would recommend that if DIYing isn't your thing to check out the costume and party section in both Big W and Spotlight as they had a load of budget friendly costume accessories.

Cape (not the best photo sorry!) - I used 3 metres of Sequin-Mesh in royal blue, I was lucky enough that this was half price at
the time which cut down on costs. I choose the fabric as it doesn't fray, is softer than tule, not too heavy to wear and sparkly. All I did was fold it in half and stitched a straight line across (using a sewing machine) 5cm's down then grabbed some blue ribbon and with the help of a safety pin threaded it through so I could tie it round my neck. I then trimmed it to the length I wanted, I didn't want it to be dragging on the floor so I trimmed it to around my mid thigh. If you wanted to cut down on costs you could only do one layer and just fold over 5 cms and sew that down.

Mask - the fabirc paint I used made this expensive (though I was able to make a back up and still have some leftover) but it turned out cute wasn't too hot or heavy to wear either. I followed the instructions and template here due to the tip size on the tubes I couldn't get all the detail on the template so I did do some improvising where needed. Also as I used 2 colours it meant I could add some extra detail/fill in areas with the alternative colour which I really liked. I did one with the base colour blue and details silver on white tulle and the other base colour silver and details blue on blue tulle so I could have some options and a back up. I recommend using 2 layers of gladwrap as a base rather than one as it makes it easier to peel and adds extra stability. I used this silver paint and this blue paint both did their jobs and held up great (though when I do one next time both of these sets here and here look like great value for money). I left the masks to dry overnight then carefully peeled them off and cut them out the next day before sewing (you could totally glue it too but I hand stitched it) leftover ribbon from the cape so I could tie it around my head. I also went over some areas that needed it with more paint and added some jewels with glue. I got loads of compliments on it and its such a simple concept so I have a feeling I may be making more masks using this technique in the future.
If you think that it sounds like too much effort and/or money my backup plan was one of these masks - they come in loads of colours and are only $2 so its a cheaper option (though I would've coated mine in blue glitter to match with the sparkly cape).

Cuffs - these was super easy and I used a metre of  this trim in blue, I just wrapped it round my wrists and cut the lengths I needed (with a decent overhang) before hand sewing (again good quality superglue would be fine here just do a test run first) them together. I loved how thick it was was and how it could cover my watch, plus it was sparkly and elastic to easy to put on and take off.
My initial plan before I found the trim was to wear these in blue, which still would've worked but it just wasn't my style (and I found them hard to get on with all my bracelets and my stacking rings).

I also wore blue eyeliner, silver eye shadow (I got a silver long lasting eyeliner and coated my lids which meant it stayed on all day), blue mascara, tied some blue ribbon in my hair and wore some blue earrings to complete my look.

While this wasn't a super cheap DIY it was fun to make and I now have the pieces for any other ReachOut events that may require some dressing up or if I ever just want be a superhero for the day.

Other advice:
If you are doing the ChillOut room at Comic-Con here is some things I have learned from the
  • Wear comfy shoes - I wore my comfiest flats and my feet still got sore, so wear something you will be fine wearing all day and won't kill your feet.
  • Come early and look around - I had never been to a comic-con so I had no idea what to expect so I arrived early (my shift wasn't until the afternoon) and wandered around. I also let myself buy a few things (an art print and Dobby toy cause Treat Yo' Self!) and sat down doing some people watching (this is the perfect event to do it).
  • If you are handing out fliers walk the outsides - so many people were sitting down around the outsides so they were easy targets and also looked like they could use a comfy place to chill out and relax. Also target kids they will take anything from you and the parents are more likely to pay attention to what they have rather than you giving them something.
  • Its totally fine to use the ChillOut room beforehand - I had 30 minutes before my shift started and had no idea what to do so I decided to use the ChillOut room myself. A bonus is that you get to know what you are promoting and are able to tell people just how awesome it was.
  • Have fun - while you are there to work during your shift have fun while on it, laugh and dance, take selfies with awesome costumed people and don't be afraid to stand out.
I highly recommend volunteering at the ChillOut room if you get the chance, it will be an experience you won't forget anytime soon!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Five Friday Favourites

I can't believe my family gets home in less than a week!!! I am so tempted to do something similar to this but I don't think I will have a chance with getting the house sorted to do it:
This coming weekend is busy but fun, with starting to clean the house, plus I am helping ReachOut in the ChillOut room at comic-con which will be interesting to say the least. I've never gone to any of these conventions before but figure it will get me out of my comfort zone. I am going as a ReachOut hero so wearing a cape and a few other pieces over my ReachOut shirt, jeans and flats (post on that coming next week) so at least I will have a disguise.
After that I am going to see PowerRangers with a friend which I am really looking forward to and can't wait to see how awesome it is.
Moving on to Five Friday Favourites:

Jeanswest - with cooler weather starting to come in, I am starting to think about my winter wardrobe and grabbing a few pieces as I see them. I love Jeanswest and have picked up two long sleve tops (this one and this one) for everyday wear, one more dressier top and a couple of pairs of jeans (I LOVE the Tummy Trimmer in straight leg). The quality of the clothes always impresses me and despite wearing the clothes non stop they are still holding up great even after a few years.

The Next Step: Show The World - as many of you know Megan and I went to see The Next Step in concert last year and we loved it. I am thrilled that they are releasing behind the scenes footage of the tour in these episodes on youtube. Check out the first one below:
Apples to Apples Disneyed - I am a huge fan of the original Apples to Apples and when I saw the Disney version I couldn't resist buying it to play to Megan and her friends. Its more basic than the orignal so less reading but still fun and I love the pictures on the cards. Plus its bit cheaper than the orginal at only $25 so it would make a great gift for any Disney fan out there.

Interviewing for a job when you have an anxiety disorder - this is the article I wrote that has been published on The Mighty and I reccomend that everyone checks it out. This is a huge deal for me and so proud of my writing and for me to be published on such a great website. Being unemployed while having anxiety is tough and not many people understand just what you go through before even getting a job (which is a whole nother story!).

Changing Places movie - this is my movie for tonight and I am looking forward to sitting down with some ice cream and enjoying a fun film. It looks like a great family film and with a few Degrassi and Lost and Found Music Studios alums the cast looks like something I would enjoy.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Article on The Mighty

I really enjoy writing and when I discovered that you could submit articles to the website The Mighty I thought I would give it a go. Well I am pleased to say that my first article has been published! It's all about applying and interviewing for jobs when you have anxiety. I had no idea what to write about but decided that I should stick to something I know, I mean I have anxiety and I unemployed so they seemed like safe topics. I figured if they didn't publish it I would just share it here and move on but when I got the email a couple of weeks saying they had decided to publish it it was an amazing feeling.
I still can't believe it and want to shout it to the world that my words meant enough for a website to publish!
I am hopeful that this isn't the only article of mine that they publish but for the time being you can read all about it here and please tell me what you think.
***For those wanting an update on the job hunt situation it isn't really happening despite applying for 3 promising jobs. There are days when its really hard to stay focused on the big picture and other days when I am fine. I am still praying for the phone to ring regarding 2 of the jobs and I would appreciate prayers that they will ring soon! For now I am just reminding myself that God is bigger than all of this and in his timing I will get a great job soon :)

Friday, March 10, 2017

Five Friday Favourites

I was meant to do Five Friday Favourites last week but it slipped my mind completely as I had church camp that weekend. It was so nice to get away for a few days and just relax, I was lucky enough to get my own dorm which I really enjoyed as I never had to worry about waking anyone up in the middle of the night and I could spread my stuff out. The talks were good too and I really enjoyed the fellowship, plus the food was amazing and it was a wonderful weekend. I was in charge of doing the quiz on the Sunday night which went really well and everyone said how good it was, I made sure to have a good range of questions and kept it short (45 minutes) so no one lost their attention spans. Being me and having a target on my head I managed to get hit by a Frisbee which was a low point but I did get a free ice cream from the kid who did it so I guess it was worth it, though it could only happen to me - this is why I avoid sports!
Moving on to Five Friday Favourites:

Friends - this is my current TV show of choice (I got the boxset as a gift) and I am halfway through season 8. Despite it starting the year I was born, I am really enjoying it and find myself laughing non stop. I really like Chandler just his comments and how despite having a rough childhood he can laugh it. I also like Joey and Chandler's pet duck and chick(en), though how they manage to have them in an apartment is beyond me!

Lego Friends Cupcake CafĂ© - yes I am 22 and yes I did just buy this Lego set for myself but it is super cute and something I would've LOVED when I was younger so I bought it for my inner child. Plus you are never too old for Lego! I really love all the detail it has, also if you follow the instructions it isn't too hard to put together despite looking tricky. I also bought this set which is super cute too and kinda goes with it. I am so happy that they have brought out the Lego Friends range even if it is a few years too late for me really to enjoy but for now I will just buy a few sets here and there so I can relive my childhood years.

Scented 3D owl alphabet keyring - I went into Smiggle the other day and saw these cute keyrings so I got one for me and one for my Mum. They are super cute and a bonus is that they are rubber so if you drop them they won't break. I always get loads of compliments on mine (I have 2 on my keys, 2 on my bag and 1 on my backpack not including this one which has yet to find a place to go) and love them so much. If they have a new alphabet keyring chances are I will have it because they are great way to personalise your keys/bag/backpack but not being in your face about your name.

Fun cheap pranks to pull on your family reddit - while I like to think as myself as a prankster I am really not but after reading some of these I might just have to give pranking another go. What's good with most of these is that while they will be annoying they won't hurt anyone's feelings and everyone should have a good laugh. It's also really funny to read about the elaborate pranks people have pulled on each other and how somethings the simplest pranks are the best.

Finally I saw the below picture this past week and it really made me laugh, I never watched a lot of Vegietales growing up but as with any Christian kid I knew who they were. Occasionally I watched it when Sunday School wasn't on in the holidays or in Christian Ed when I was in high school (no idea why but hey if it keeps the kids entertained for a period then that's a good thing right?!). Photo originally seen here.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Another Challenge Conquered - No More P Plates!

Driving has always been one of those things I have struggled with, I knew from the moment I sat in the drivers seat things wouldn't be easy. I struggled at the beginning of going round the local uni carpark at 5kms an hour and the thought of even going on roads scared me.
My parents had to find a driving instructor who had experience with people with issues like Dyspraxia because they knew any ordinary instructor wouldn't do. It seemed like whenever I felt I was making progress a setback would happen and I would have to work twice as hard to achieve basic manoeuvrers.
When I finally pass my practical driving test I wanted to shout from the rooftops that I was road worthy and despite all the difficulties I faced I had passed the test. Of course once I had had my license for less than a year I lost it for 3 months, which was a huge set back and one that filled with me with a lot of anxiety. Of course God had a plan and I didn't need to resit any tests to get it back despite being told that I would have to.
Well as of yesterday I have conquered another challenge, I am on my full license! No more P - Plates or limited points on my license, no more feeling like a target for road rage because of the p plates and no more people joking that I am a bad/inexperienced driver because I don't have my full license.
It was strange taking off the P-Plates on my car yesterday morning, they had been a permanent fixture on it since I got it and it was strange looking in rear view mirror and not seeing one as I was reversing. I also felt really exposed like I can't use the excuse 'I am on P-Plates and am still a new driver!' when something happens (which is rare now thankfully!).
Once again despite having Dyspraxia (and anxiety) I have proven to people that I can achieve things even if they just take me a bit longer and I need to work slightly harder to do them.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

If I can't control it, I won't worry about it and leave it up to God

 'If I can't control it, I won't worry about it and leave it up to God' - this has become something I keep telling myself during this time of unemployment and uncertainty. Late last year it hit me that I can't control the job market or the interviews I get (or don't get) or the jobs that I can apply for. I mean I would love to get a job but I can't control when I get one so I won't try or even attempt to control it. God is so much bigger than people give him credit for and he has the situation under control even if I can't see it.
I have spent the past couple of weeks filling out job applications, updating my resume and writing selection criteria (which I am convinced will be the end of me!). Selection Criteria is one of those things that I always second guess myself on, mainly because you never what exactly the company is looking for in terms of answers, plus it makes the job application process drag on even longer. I triple check my selection criteria and know that I have done my best, then I leave it up to God. I put it out of my mind and just go on with my life knowing that if it's meant to happen God will do the rest of the work.  My employment agency has also been looking over it and they are impressed with each one I email to them, but I can only pray that the companies are too!
I have dreams of landing a job in the next few weeks in the near future but know that it probably won't happen, but with God never say never. I know that starting a new job won't be easy and I will struggle but I also know that this time will be different and that I have better support and my overall mental health is in a good place. If anything this time living alone has really helped me push myself and see just what I can do (of course I miss my family and can't wait to have them home) so going into a new job I will be more confident and aware of just what I can handle.

I am keeping up with my volunteer work and it seems that everywhere I look I have something happening with ReachOut (organising stalls, helping run chill out rooms at events and getting ready for the workshop this weekend) or with mentoring (organising craft activities, helping out at events and attending it every other week). I highly reccomend that if you are looking for work to do some volunteering as it helps build your confidence, learn new skills, meet new people and just keeps you occupied. I use Seek regulary to find job opportunities but have since discovered that they have a volunteer section of the site which is great and well worth checking out if you are unsure how to go about finding volunteer work. ReachOut actually advertises on it when they need casual and one off volunteers for events which is how I heard about it but there is a wide range of volunteer opportunities you just have to find them.

I don't know what the coming weeks will hold but I won't worry about it because afterall: If I can't control it, I won't worry about it and leave it up to God.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Five Friday Favourites

 Its been really odd cold and wet weather here, which has meant I have had to break out my winter clothing. I am a bit annoyed as I swear it's meant to be Summer but then again I would rather the wet weather than the hot dry weather we normally have this time of year. I have been staying inside quite a bit so this fortnight's favourites reflect that.

Riverdale - I had no idea what to expect when I watched the first episode on Netflix but it has me intrigued. I like how it has a mystery element to it but there is something deeper under the surface which I am sure will come out eventually. I am looking forward to seeing where it goes and counting down the days until the next episode gets released!

Ask Reddit - want a fun way to procrastinate that isn't Facebook or Netflix well then Ask Reddit is your solution! People ask interesting questions and the answers are always a suprise. I always find I learn something too from the answers espicially when it comes to questions asked to certain professions regarding interesting situations they have been in (like this one and this one). I will warn you once you start reading it can be really hard to stop!

Maybelline Colour Drama Lipstick - I have been using this in minimalist for quite a while now and I have to admit that its been one of my go to lipsticks. It provides great long lasting colour without drying out my lips and the colour looks good on all skin tones too. I'm not a fan that it needs to be sharpened compared to a normal lipstick but that's more an inconvenience thing than anything else.

The Office boxset - so I took the plunge and bought it! I am seeing many afternoons filled with laughter in my future and can't wait to relive all the fun times, like the clip below.
When the road rage doesn't match the playlist John Crist video - no words needed such a relatable funny video!