Thursday, July 30, 2015

Oh What Marvelous Things

A lot of really no good, very bad, super rotten things have happened in my life this summer, thus the reason I haven't touched this blog in nearly two months. Maybe I'll catch you all up on that in another post, maybe not. Suffice it to say this summer has literally just been the worst, and I don't even know where to start regarding half of it right now. 

In the meantime, here's a list of some not so awful things that have been going on lately and a few changes I'm making after going through a bit of a quarter life crisis in the past eight weeks. I'm really trying to change my outlook on life and be a more positive person, so here it goes:
  • It's been a week since my last cigarette #winning
  • I've successfully downed at least 3 liters of water per day for the past two weeks. If you knew me and my Mtn. Dew addiction in real life, you'd fully understand how monumental this is #evenmorewinning
  • I got a raise at work #allthewinning
  • I got a new car and her name is Enid Coleslaw. She's a Prius so I guess I'm officially a hippie. Or something. 
  • Zack had his first gallery showing the night these photos were taken, and I'm so ridiculously proud of him it's unreal. Prepare to be spammed incessantly with his art in the coming weeks as I help him get his website going. If you like gross, creepy things (which I assume you do if you're following me), you're going to love it. 
  • I just signed up for an American Sign Language class at school next semester, which has been a dream of mine for years. 
  • My twinster Courtney is coming to visit in two weeks and I get her all to myself for 8 entire days! It's been over a year since I last saw her and nearly three since we made this video together. We have tons of rad adventures planned for her first trip to Denver and knowing she's coming has literally been the only thing keeping me sane all summer. 
  • I finally got the memorial tattoo I've been planning for 5 years in memory of my Nana. It deserves a post of it's own but as you may notice in these pictures, my left arm is a little less naked ;)
  • Meg, Zack and I have all been making effort to get healthier and be more active (they're both a week smoke free too!). We've started going on weekend hikes together and I've been eating clean, practicing yoga and getting back into a bit of running as well. I feel so much more energetic and alive and wonderful and yeah. Good stuff. 
I hope all of you have been doing well while I've been away. A few of you have really kept up and in touch with me through social media and just know that I truly appreciate it. It's been a rough go but I'm determined to turn shit around and make the best out of the rest of this year. Thank you for your kindness and support.


Saturday, May 30, 2015

Denver Comic Con 2015

Last Thursday I woke up to a text from my friend Shay offering Meg, Z and I free passes to Denver Comic Con, and naturally, we were all too happy to accept. This sparked an intense 24 hour craft-a-thon as Meg and I scrambled to throw together last minute cosplays because there was no way I was going to my first comic convention in street clothes. I dressed up as Black Cat, and she went as Poison Ivy. I overnighted the wig and catsuit from Amazon, then made the mask, gloves and bootcuffs. The corset is my CS411 which I have previously featured here and here. Meg's costume was far more ambitious, and was 100% made from scratch -- dress and all -- in just one day.

We only had Sunday passes so it was impossible to see and do everything. We did a round of SciFi Speed Dating which was equal parts awkward and awesome, but missed out on all of the panels and events I had hoped we'd squeeze into the schedule. I failed as photographer, and barely took any pictures of the day. A bunch of people asked to pose for photos which was a totally new and weird experience I hadn't really expected, so somewhere out there are a lot more photos of me all dressed up and super villainy that I'll likely never see. Bummer.

Comic Con was an absolute blast, and we're already making plans for our next convention! I'm planning a pretty epic Pokemon cosplay for Nan Desu Kan in September, and I'm super stoked to have more time to put something together next time around!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Sunday Sketch: Brachypelma smithi

I'm cheating this week, as I finished this drawing months ago. Sharpie pen and water color pencil.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Happy Birthday, Rats!

A few weeks ago marked one year since we rescued Ghost and Gypsy, but since Ghost was still recovering from surgery it just kind of sneaked by. After nearly a month of having to be kept separately in her post-op tank, Ghost was finally healed enough last night to rejoin Gypsy in their cage, and we decided it would be fun to throw them a little party to celebrate both occasions. I made them a bunch of new hammocks and redecorated the whole cage as their big present. Since their cage is set up in my craft room and I'm a dweeb, it's all Halloween-themed to match the rest of the room. They also got some new toys and treats and we let them share a few bites of mini cupcake, which they loved! I know a rat birthday party probably seems really silly, but I figure their lives are too short to care about such nonsense. Let them eat cake.

I'm so happy that Ghost's surgery saga has finally come to an end, There were a lot of complications which made healing a far longer process than it should have been. About a week ago, we found another mass on the other side of her body and have opted not to put her through another surgery because the first was so hard on her. We are trying a more holistic approach to try to slow its growth and have noticed it making a difference already. She's in amazingly high spirits and acts like she doesn't even notice the little bump, so we're really just focusing on maintaining this quality of life for her for as long as possible.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Sunday Sketch: Acanthoscurria geniculata

As part of my 25 before 26, I'm making an effort to start and finish at least one drawing per week to fulfill my goal of filling a sketchbook by next year. It's been years since art has been a regular part of my weekly routine, but so far I've really enjoyed taking time out to doodle in lieu of having a mountain of homework to do since finals are (finally) over. This is a quick sketch I did of a Brazilian White Knee tarantula using ink and white colored pencils, and I'm decently pleased with how it turned out.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Ghost + Gypsy

Just stopping by to post a few pictures I took of my ratties while we were having a cheese and cracker picnic in the yard today. We've been having some health issues with Ghost, and I've been trying to give them both some extra attention the past few days. Ghost developed a sore on her leg about a week ago that we were hoping was just an abscess, but after going to the vet last night we discovered it is actually a small tumor After a ton of crying and cursing, we have decided to have it removed, and she's all set and scheduled for surgery  this coming Thursday. The vet assures us it will be quick and easy and she should heal swiftly, but it's still absolutely nerve wracking. We've had such a wonderful year with these two girls and I'm not ready to say goodbye just yet :( Here's hoping to speedy, painless recovery for my sweet little red-eyed lady.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Wishlist // Winter is Coming

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8

Sunday, you guys! After months of waiting, it's finally time for Game of Thrones and I couldn't be more stoked. My mind is buzzing with fan theories and my ovaries are buzzing with some John Snow lust. Meg and I are talking about dressing as Lady Crows and hitting up Rave of Thrones when it comes through Denver this Friday, but realistically we'll probably just end up staying in and playing Skyrim like mature grownups instead. 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

25 Before 26

While last year's list was pretty much a bust, I decided it was worth it to try again this year with a new set of goals. I'm starting out 25 in a much better place than 24 -- in pretty much every way possible -- so I feel like I can actually focus my time on doing things I enjoy and want to do. My goals for this year aren't really monumental or major for the most part, they're really just about getting me to make time for myself and experience more in life.

1. Apply to Mortuary School // At my school, you have to complete all general prerequisites before formally applying to the mortuary program. The nerve-wracking thing is, there's no guarantee you'll be accepted, so there is the very real and terrifying possibility that all of the hard work I'm putting in now will be for nothing.It's a really popular program and only 60 people are accepted each year, and I'll be applying next February. I'm trying not to let that psyche me out, but it's a little daunting. In the meantime, I'm just trying to stay positive and keep my grades up to improve my chance of acceptance.

2. Go on 24 dates with Zack // Now that we live together, it's so easy to just pick up some takeout and watch Netflix every Saturday then it is to you know, date. We've gotten so bad at making time for going out that we've only been on one real date since October :( This year, I really want to make it a priority to go on two dates every month, and I'm having Z help me put together a list of all the things we want to do.

3. Open an Etsy Shop // This has been a dream of mine for a minute, and I'd love to finally get my shop up and running once my craft room is in order. I have all sorts of ideas and have already picked out all my supplies and designs, and I'm hoping to have everything together by this fall. It would be great to make a little bit of extra money off my crafts to go toward my tuition next school year.

4. Read 25 books // I made it a goal to read 52 last year, which proved to be a bit too ambitious. This year, I'm being more realistic with a goal of 25. I ordered myself a bunch of new ones for my birthday and I know I'll read at least 12 for book club, so I think 25 is a totally obtainable goal.

5. Stress Less // I honestly don't want to know how much cortisol is chilling in my blood stream on any given day, because holy hell, do I know how to stress. We're currently doing some major restructuring at work so I'm taking on about twice as many responsibilities, making it harder and harder to leave my work at the office when I go home for the day. Then there's the never ending stream of essays, lab reports and textbook readings I have to squeeze in for school, leaving me beyond frazzled to the point my physical and mental health are both suffering. This year, I really want to develop some de-stressing routines to help me chill the fuck out and enjoy life more. Z bought me a bunch of LUSH bath bombs for my birthday, and while I'm not a psychic, I definitely see a lot of bubble baths, blunts and bottles of cheap champagne in my future.

6. Visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter // Here's a goal that screams "I'm a super mature adult, I swear!" for you ;) Harry Potter has been one of my absolute favorite things since I was 11 years old and read "The Sorcerer's Stone" for the first time, setting off a love affair I doubt will ever end for me. I'm so ridiculously fangurrly and excited at the prospect of visiting Olivander's and drinking butterbeer in Hogsmeade! Meg and I are planning to go next January for the Annual Harry Potter Celebration, and I'm racing to set aside as much money as possible for souveniers.

7. Photograph 7 New Cemeteries // This was a goal I had last year that I didn't come close to completing, so I'm giving it another shot this year!

8. Finish My Craft Room and Organize my Stash // We've been settled in for four months and my craft room is still full of boxes and half-built furniture. *le sigh* I have so many crafty pursuits I want to tackle and I can't until I get this room put together, so one of these weekends I just need to suck it up and do it. I have so much fabric, yarn and miscellaneous craft things that need to be organized as well, so it's going to be a pretty time consuming endeavor.

9. Get Matching Friend Tattoos With Meg // I'm cheating a little by adding this one, because I kinda sorta already did it! Pics soon, I promise!

10. Get a Bicycle // Z has a bike, but I don't, so we can't really go on rides together. I really want to get one so we can start riding around this summer, and since I live so close to work I'd love to be able to just take that to work instead of driving. Especially because my next goal is:

11. Fix My Car // Pete Doherty, my poor 2001 Ford Focus, is falling apart, and I'm too broke and sentimental to trade him in for something nicer. He needs new tires, new shocks, a new battery, a new water pump and a new time belt :( It's going to be extremely expensive and annoying to get him back to where I can drive more than 6 blocks to work in him, but I want him in top shape before the summer.

12. Fill a Sketchbook // Zack has really been pushing me to get back into drawing and painting lately, and I've done a few doodles in the past few weeks that have rekindled my love for art. After not touching a brush or pen in almost 5 years, it feels good to be back in the game. I don't really plan to do anything serious art-wise, but if I could fill up my new sketchbook that'd be pretty swell.

13. Put Together a Recipe Box // I picked up the cutest little box at an antique shop last month, and I really want to fix it up and fill it with family recipes. Of course, this means I'll actually need to cook more this year as well.

14. Become a Museum Member // Since we got together, Zack and I have been talking about getting memberships to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science and going at least once a month. The museum is one of my favorite places, and I would love to be able to go all the time!

15. Go to a Convention // I planned to go to 3 last year, but again, trying to be realistic here. The Mile High Horror Film Festival is my number one pick, but I'm also looking at Repticon, the Colorado Burlesque Festival the Myths and Legends convention.

16. Take a Burlesque Class // Speaking of burlesque, it's something I've really wanted to do for awhile, and since I started waist training I want to try it more than ever! There's a fancy burlesque club downtown that offers classes a few times a year with a live performance as the finale, and I definitely want to push myself to sign up and try it!

17. Post a Monthly Photo an Hour // I've always really enjoyed seeing Photo an Hour posts on other blogs, so I'd like to try something like that here.

18. Start a Night Garden // We have a huge yard at our house with tons of space for starting a garden! I'd love to plant a bunch of night blooming flowers. All of the ones on this list look good to me :D

19. Season a New Corset // I've got my eye on the gorgeous mesh CS-201 from Orchard Corset as my next one ;)

20. Complete 10 DIYs for the House // We have a huge garage filled with more tools than I know what to do with, and once the garage and my completed craft room join forces, I have a feeling I can whip up some really cool stuff for the our place.

21. Knit a Blanket // Another repeat from last year!

22. Host an Epic Halloween Party // We had a great time throwing our first Halloween/house warming party last year, but I want this year's shindig to be legendary amongst our friends. I want to go all out with a theme and tons of handmade decorations. The Embalming Fluid cocktail I made last year will definitely be making a reappearance.

23. Record at Least One Ukulele Cover Per Month // I learn new songs all the time, but I'm terrible at getting around to record and upload them. I want to finally post all of the songs I've been working on throughout this year.

24. Participate in NANWRIMO // I've always thought this challenge sounded like a lot of fun! I'm really hoping my school schedule will allow enough time for me to give this a shot.

25. Go Camping // I haven't been since Z and I took a trip to Yellowstone 3 years ago! Since I live in a state with some of the best mountain campgrounds around, I have no excuse not to go at least once.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Adventures in Waist Training Part II

This post has been delayed and sitting in my drafts a lot longer than I'd hoped (a few months longer, ughh), mostly because I was absolutely terrible at keeping up with my waist training back in November/December with the holidays and such. By the time I finally took out my CS411 again, I'd gained and then lost a few pounds, my natural waist was about an inch off from where it had been and I basically had to completely season the corset all over again to get it to fit properly. After about two weeks of wearing it daily for two hours at a time, I was able to start wearing it in public, and I've pretty much been trying to find reasons to wear it out any chance I get!

I've become pretty active in the online waist-training community over the past month or so, and I've found that most ladies are big fans of "stealthing" -- or wearing their corsets under loose clothes so no one can tell they're wearing them. I'm not sure why it hasn't really grown on me. Maybe I'm just still such a newb that I feel like I need to show it off. I still can't lace down all that small in proportion to my size, but I feel oddly empowered and awesome when I'm wearing it over my clothes for people to see. I currently lace to about 23.5" when I want to be really comfortable (when I went to Manson and wore it for 7 hours straight, for example), and to about 22.25" when I want to lace up tightly for short periods of time. I'll admit I'm really lazy about wearing it for extended periods of time still, mostly because of my aversion to stealthing, which is definitely impeding on my goal of getting this sucker closed. Over the next few weeks, I really want to push myself to wear it more -- including to work, which will force me to go stealth giving that I work in an environment that's far more professional than I am. I notice that my back tends to hurt less while wearing it since it forces me to break my terrible habit of slouching, and since I sit at a desk all day, I figure it's probably not too shabby an idea to wear it to work. I doubt I'll ever become one of those hardcore lacers who wear their corsets 23 hours a day, but if I can get up to 8-10 hours at a time, that would be swell.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Wishlist // Sweet Scents

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9

Perfumes and bath products have always been things I really enjoy, but can never really justify spending money on. I usually just buy a cheap spray from Bath & Body Works to tie me over every few months while secretly lusting over luxe perfumes in dreamy bottles. But, hey, that's what these wishlist posts are all about right? Fancy things I can really only dream of owning, yeah?

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Tutorial: Matte Black Kaleidoscope Nails

For my birthday party this past weekend, I wanted to do something a little fab and a little flashy with my nails, and I figured glitter was the way to go. I'm not normally a huge fan of shiny, sparkly things, so I wanted to keep the glitter to a minimum while still using just enough to keep my nails from looking boring and blah. Since I was celebrating at a shadow-cast screening of Rocky Horror, I decided to do a design inspired by Columbia, my favorite character from the film. The glitter polish I used was "Rainbow in the S-Kylie" from Nicole by OPI, and with all the different colors it reminded me of the sequined bustier top she wears for the majority of the movie.

This tutorial again uses the stiletto-shaped press-ons from Nails Gaga that I used in my last nail tutorial. To obtain this look, you'll either need to purchase a set (or a similar one), or shape your natural nails accordingly. I have written the tutorial assuming you'll be using press-ons like I did, so if you're going au naturale you can just skip the first few steps. 

Press-on Nails
Nail Polish: Black, Dense Multi-Color Glitter, Matte Top Coat
Scotch tape
Nail stickers (I used these ones)
5 pens, pencils or nail dotting tools
Nail glue (I recommend this one)
Nail file
Cuticle stick

1. Pick out the nails you need in the appropriate size for each finger (duh). 

2. Roll 10 small pieces of Scotch tape so that they are sticky on both sides and press one onto each end of a curved object, such as a nail dotting tool, pencil or pen. Stick one nail to each piece of Scotch tape, as shown, and press down firmly to make sure they stay in place. This will make painting the nails a lot easier and you won't have to sit around waiting for your nails to dry after each coat -- and there's a lot of coats involved in this tutorial!

3. Paint two coats of black onto each of the nails, allowing the first coat to dry before applying the second.

4. Apply matte top coat to all but the ring finger nails. Allow it to dry completely.

5. While waiting for the matte coat to dry, start loading up your ring fingers with the glitter polish. It took me about four coats to get mine nice and opaque, and I let each dry all the way through before adding another. You want the glitter to be so dense you can barely see the black through it. Depending on the brand you use, you may need to use more or less than I did.

6. Once your matte coat is fully dry, apply a rounded nail sticker just above the moons of each of the remaining nails, as shown.

7. Apply a thick goat of the glitter below the stickers, and immediately peel the stickers off. This will give you a clean, crisp line where the glitter is settled at the moons of your nails while leaving the rest nice and matte. (Sorry I didn't get a photo of this step!)

8. While your press-ons are drying, trim your natural nails and clean up your cuticles. 

9. Rough up your nails a little using the nail file. Be careful not to be too aggressive in filing, you just need a little bit of texture for the glue to adhere to. Trust me, it will make your nails stay a lot longer!

10. Apply a small amount of glue onto one of your pinkie nails. Apply the matching press-on and slide it down so it presses back against your cuticle at the base of your nail. Hold it down for a few seconds to make sure it sticks. Repeat on your other pinkie. 

11. Repeat step 10 until all of your nails are applied, working from your pinkies inward toward your thumbs. Congratulations, you're all done!

I apologize for the shit photo quality in most of this post. I did my nails the night before my birthday, and the lighting in my house is abysmal at night! 

I know it probably sounds like I'm totally shilling these stiletto press-ons by Nails Gaga at this point, but guys, they are seriously the best. I've now given myself three manicures using them, and each has lasted just under two weeks without a single nail breaking! I can honestly think of very few other things I've spent $10 or less on and been so pleased with!

Monday, March 2, 2015

24 Before 25 // Recap

It's a total trip that it's already been a year since I put together this goal list, and I'll admit I didn't use that year nearly as productively as I'd hoped. I never even got started on 95% of these goals! However, I did accomplish the two most important ones, and I'm content with that. I'll be pulling a few of these and adding them to the goal list I'm putting together for 25, because I feel like I'll be able to put more focus on the little ones now that the big obstacles are taken care of. It was kind of hard to make time for things like knitting and growing bonsai trees while struggling to find a place to live and passing math for the first time ever, you know?

Go back to school -- for real this time // Yes yes yes! I did it! I really did it! I am just over a month into my second semester of school, so I'm almost at the halfway point in my general education! Exactly one year from now I'll be formally applying to my school's Mortuary Science program and worrying myself sick over whether or not I'll be accepted. After years of putting off this goal, I finally did it, and there are no words to express how happy I am that I did.

Find and move into a house with Zack // I sure did! It took over three years of dating for us to take the plunge into cohabitation, and today I'm writing this on a gorgeous 1940s sofa in our living room. Our. That's such a weird word I'm still getting used to. Our house, our bills, our dog, our life. Living together has been a strange and exiting experience that's better than I could have ever imagined. 

Stay smoke free and develop healthier habits // Nope. I made it to the three month mark and then I started smoking again like a big stupid. I did recently start a diet plan where I eat clean, whole foods with no dairy 6 days per week and eat tons of pizza the other though, so that's something.  

Get a memorial tattoo for my Nana -- and visit her grave // This is the one goal I feel really bad for not accomplishing. 

Read 52 books // Not even close! With the exception of the two books I read for book club, all I read were textbooks, Facebook updates and Fanfiction.  

Sew 10 skirts or dresses -- and learn how to use my sewing machine // Nope.

Volunteer at a farm animal sanctuary // No, but I will be volunteering at a goat farm one Saturday per month this year!

Hike 100 50 Miles // :Insert maniac laughing: Nope. Unless walking to and from class counts, I didn't hike a single mile. Bummer.

Knit or crochet a blanket // No, but I hand-knit a shit ton of Christmas scarves and hats, so IDGAF

Go on at least one road trip with Meg // Nope, but there are plans to change that this year!

Start a flower and vegetable garden // Z and I didn't move until the fall, so it was way too late to attempt this goal by the time we had the space to make it happen. 

Write a submit a short story for publication in an anthology // I've still got that draft sitting on my hard drive :(

Start learning a second language // Meg and I found an ecourse in Dothraki... does that count?

Grow and tend a Bonsai tree without killing it // Nope.

Collect, copy, print and organize family photos // My friend Caitlin helped me start this one by putting together all of my old photos from Scotland, but she did all the work!

Expand my collections -- oddities, tarantulas, books, etc // Yes! I got two new tarantulas, Lunatone and Nyx! I also got a bunch of new oddities including a prosthetic leg and a Death's Head Moth, as well as a bunch of new books to read this year. 

Spend a day as a tourist in my own city // No.

Attend at least three expos, festivals or conventions // I did not, but I've got plans to attend Frozen Dead Guy Days,Repticon and the Mile High Horror Film Festival for real this year.

Start, keep and complete an art journal // Ain't nobody got time for that.

Visit seven new cemeteries or abandoned places // Only visited 2/7. Boo.

Learn, perfect and record 10 new ukulele covers // I learned tons of new songs and posted a few bits on Instagram, but I did not record any real covers.

Improve and strengthen relationships with everyone I love // Yes! I've always had a great relationship with Zack and Meg, but I've struggled a lot in relationships with everyone else. I can officially say this last year has brought my sister and I closer than we've ever been before, and I'm so grateful for that. For years we've been strained at best, and now she's one of my best friends. It's wonderful.

Make a legitimate effort to blog more // :Slow clap: I still suck at this.

Continue improving my mental health and live a happier, more productive and fulfilling life that I can be proud of // Yes... and no. I am no longer participating in DBT nor am I taking antidepressants. That was my decision and it's been both good and bad since I made it about 9 months ago. I wish I hadn't stopped before we moved, as the house hunt and starting school transitions were extremely hard on my mental health. I really wish I'd had that kind of support while dealing with that stuff, but I feel okay now that it's over. Today I'm proud of how many good days I have without therapy or antidepressants, and I really am proud of all I've accomplished this year all by myself. Bad days are rare and far between, and good days are my new normal for the first time in my life. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Wishlist // Birthday Bitch

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8

Today is officially my last day of being 24, and holy shit that means I'll officially have been kicking it for a quarter of a century this time tomorrow. Honestly, I spent most of the last year (and all of my early twenties for that matter) absolutely dreading this birthday, because you know, from the minute I turn 25 I'll be closer to 30 than I'll be to 20 and just the thought of that has sent me into ridiculous fits of existential quarter-life crisis feelings.... and junk.

But now that tomorrow is literally about to creep up on me, I've actually found that it's not bothering me nearly as much as I thought it would. I mean, 25 will be the first year in my adult life that I can finally say, with sincerity, that I have my shit completely together. I have my own house, even if it's rented. I have a good, steady job, even if it's not what I want to do forever. I'm going to school, even though it's mostly online, which kind of sucks. And all the working out I've been doing is finally giving me some semblance of an ass, even though I'll forever wish it were bigger. I could sit and long to be 20 again, but looking back, 20 really freaking sucked. I lived in a shitty apartment in an even shittier area. I was surrounded by equally shitty people pretty much 24/7 between my deadbeat ex, my pathological liar of a first roommate and a handful of "friends" I haven't seen or spoken to since 21. I couldn't get down (legally) on vodka and Redbulls and my car insurance was at least $50 more a month then it is now. So there. 20 can suck it!

Of course, 25 has it's downsides that 20 didn't, but really, it's nothing different than what I had to deal with at 24. There will always be a million things I'd rather spend $300 per month on then my student loan bills (like those shoes up above, *swoons*). When Meg and I go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter next January we'll still look far more ridiculous in our fangurrrling than we would have at 17. The questions about when Zack and I plan to get married (we don't) or when I plan on popping out little cretins (never!) will come just as frequently. Really, this next year is nothing new, except for the whole "I'm starting the year out in a great place" thing. Which I'm equal parts okay and excited with.

I'll be celebrating this weekend with dinner in an old funeral home, copious amounts of hard liquor and a live shadow-cast showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. I bought myself the gaudiest, tackiest sequined dress I could find and I'll be rocking my silver wig in style, because goddammit, I can. And at the end of the weekend, I think I'll buy myself something nice, because I'm not the perpetual broke ass I was at 20, 21, 22 or 23, and if I can make it through this birthday without a single breakdown or reversion to my existential nonsense-spewing ways, I'll fucking deserve it.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Dead Man's Bones

Are you in crazy mad lust with Ryan Gosling? Of course you are! Have you been looking for reasons to fall in love just a little more? Your wish is granted, here you go!

If you weren't aware, he was part of a sweet little two-piece band called Dead Man's Bones for a minute back in 2009. He played piano, guitar, bass, cello and sang under the moniker "Baby Goose," and all of their songs sounded like Halloween. They put out one album in collaboration with the Silverlake Conservatory Children's Choir, and I recently picked up a copy on vinyl that's been chilling on repeat in my turntable. It's full of love songs about ghosts and monsters, and I'm surprised to find that so few of his fans are aware that this album exists.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Wishlist // Nevermore

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9

When I was in elementary school, I used to participate in annual Oral Interpretation competitions and my Nana and I would spend months preparing my entry piece each spring. She'd help me select the poem, monologue or novel excerpt I'd present, and we'd get together every day after school to practice in her kitchen. In third grade, we spent hours rehearsing and rehashing every line in Poe's "The Raven" until I had it memorized in it's entirety. I won first place at Regionals that year, the only time I've ever won first place at anything really, and 16 years later I can still recite 95% of that poem from memory. It's one of my all time favorites, and every time I read or hear it I remember how hard my Nana and I worked together to win that award and how much fun we had preparing for those competitions every year. 

Friday, February 13, 2015


Corset: Orchard Corset // Top: Ross // Pants: SlickBlue via Amazon // Beanie: H&M
Wig: Map of Beauty via Amazon // Necklace and Boots: Hot Topic

As an early birthday present, Meg took me to see Marilyn Manson on Wednesday night. I danced far too hard, drank far too little, almost got in a fight, ran into one of my favorite teachers from high school and spent the night partying it up in a cramped little venue with 3,500 other people. This was my second time seeing Manson live and was a far more intimate experience than when I saw him at Red Rocks two years ago with a crowd of nearly 10,000. There were way less theatrics and he spent a lot more time talking to the crowd between songs, which was pretty spectacular. He skipped on playing "The Golden Age of Grotesque" and "Fight Song" (bummer) but did play "mOBSCENE" "The New Shit" and of course "The Beautiful People," so whatever.

This is the outfit I wore to the show, and I more or less felt like a super villainess every second I spent in those leggings, that wig and my corset. Meg realized I could totally cosplay as Black Cat in this outfit if I just added a mask, which I might do if I end up going to Denver ComiCon this year.

I got loads of compliments on my new silver wig, which I ordered just for the occasion. I was really unhappy with the quality of this wig when I first opened it -- half the tracks were sewn shut so I couldn't adjust the size, the netting was visible through the hair and fraying all over the place and the curls pretty much fell apart the second I put it on. After some quick thinking and chopping about 6 inches off with a pair of kitchen shears, it looked a lot better and I was able to hide the rest of the flaws with my beanie. I'm really bummed because the last wig I ordered from this company was incredible. I doubt I'll get more than another wear or two out of this one, and am not sure that I will purchase another wig from this brand again after having two completely different experiences.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Tutorial: Coffin Stiletto Nails

When I saw this cute coffin manicure on Instagram, I thought I'd have a go at doing something similar, and I put together a quick tutorial for you ghoulish gals out there who'd like some creepy coffin claws of your own.

I recently bought this kit of stiletto shaped press-on nails off of Amazon, and holy crap am I impressed! The first time I gave myself a manicure using these, I was able to go 13 full days without breaking a single one! Keep in mind I type 8+ hours a day, so I'm definitely not very gentle on my nails. I'm always happy when I can keep a set on for a full week, let alone nearly two! The kit comes with 500 nails in 10 different sizes, so it's a total steal for $10.00  This is the only set of stiletto-shaped nails I've stumbled across, and I can't recommend them enough. I used these nails to complete this tutorial.

I have my own method for painting and applying press-on nails that probably deserves it's own post, but I'll try my best to show you how I do them in this tutorial. My method provides you with perfectly painted nails that can all be decorated/drawn on with your dominant hand. Huzzah! This means you'll never have one hand that looks fabulous and another that looks atrocious again!

Nail polish: Black, white, red, matte coat and top coat
Scotch tape
5 pens, pencils or nail dotting tools
Nail glue (I recommend this one)
Nail file
Cuticle stick

1. Pick out the nails you need in the appropriate size for each finger (duh). 

2. Roll 10 small pieces of Scotch tape so that they are sticky on both sides and press one onto each end of a curved object, such as a nail dotting tool, pencil or pen. Stick one nail to each piece of Scotch tape, as shown, and press down firmly to make sure they stay in place. This will allow you to paint and embellish the nails much easier and make giving each coat/step time to properly dry a breeze. You'll just peel them off the tape and glue them on when everything's completely dry. Genius, I know. 

3. Paint two coats of black onto each of the nails, allowing the first coat to dry before applying the second. 

4. Apply the matte top coat to each of the ring fingernails. Allow time for it to dry completely. 

5. Draw a coffin shaped outline on each of the ring fingernails. You can do this with a thin brush or dotting tool. 

6. Draw a cross shape using white nail polish in the center of each coffin outline. 

6.5 (Optional) Once the nails are completely dry, flip them over and carefully paint the undersides with the red polish. This way, the red will show above the tips of your fingers. I also clipped off the tips on the ring fingers to give them a more coffin-esque shape like the inspiration nails had. It just gives this manicure something awesome and extra, but it's totally up to you ;)

7. While your press-ons are drying, trim your natural nails and clean up your cuticles. 

8. Rough up your nails a little using the nail file. Be careful not to be too aggressive in filing, you just need a little bit of texture for the glue to adhere to. Trust me, it will make your nails stay a lot longer!

9. Apply a small amount of glue onto one of your pinkie nails. Apply the matching press-on and slide it down so it presses back against your cuticle at the base of your nail. Hold it down for a few seconds to make sure it sticks. Repeat on your other pinkie. 

10. Repeat step 9 until all of your nails are applied, working from your pinkies inward toward your thumbs. 

11. Apply a gloss top coat to all but your ring fingers and you're done!

My nails were super sharp, so I ran a file across the tip of each one just to dull them a bit. Depending on the brand of nails you use, you may need to do this as well if you don't want to poke your own eyes out while putting on eyeliner.

I hope you guys enjoyed this tutorial, and since it was my first, I hope it was easy enough to follow along with. If you have any questions or need clarification on steps, just leave a comment below!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Wishlist // Slytherin Pride

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9

Did you guys really need to be told I'm a Slytherin? Probably not, as I feel I'm a pretty solid exemplification of the house's core traits. Cunning? Most definitely. Ambitious? Check. Resourceful? Oh yes. Interested in the Dark Arts? You got it! Though that doesn't count, and that's a pretty seedy stereotype that gives our house a bad rep. 

I've gotten into my fair share of arguments within the fandom about Slytherin being an "evil" house over the years, mostly because Rowling really only chose to showcase terrible people as the face of Slytherin with characters like Voldemort, the Malfoys and Bellatrix Lestrange. Of course, we found out in the end that our dear Half Blood Prince really was a good guy all along during the final book in the series, but that doesn't change the fact we were all led to believe he was basically just a giant, traitorous douchebag for years until you know, he died. And then everyone felt bad for like five seconds before moving on (RIP Never Forget).

RANT! Maybe it's just my house bias showing, but I've always felt that Gryffindor was really the house all the assholes were sent to. Take a look at the Marauders, often regarded as heroes, who spent years ganging up on Snape, engaging in such harmless pranks as sexual assault and attempted murder. Or Hermione, who lured Umbridge straight to a herd of wild centaurs fully knowing what would likely happen to her being well-versed in their mythology. Fred and George nearly killed a Slytherin student after locking him in a vanishing cabinet, which was a total riot to fans. And here's a complete list of reasons everyone's favorite Headmaster is actually a giant jerk. So there. END RANT!

In any event, I put together this nifty little wishlist after spending the past few Friday evenings drinking champagne, knitting house scarves and marathoning the film series with Meg, my favorite Hufflepuff (did you know Slytherin and Hufflepuff are actually the two houses most compatible as friends?) We're currently planning a trip out to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter next winter, and I hope I have all of these things to bring along with me to show off my house pride while getting down on some butterbeer and chocolate frogs. I totally cheated a little bit by adding the Tom Felton shirt to this wishlist... because I already bought it! It was a limited edition thing Tom designed himself for charity, and it should actually be arriving on my doorstep this week (via owl post, I wish!). My friend Dominique ordered one too, so we'll be twinning it up at this week's staff meeting like the complete dorks we truly are. 
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