Top 10 Photographs of 2014.

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Last year around this time, in the midst of drafting my summary of 2013, I had compiled a list of my ten favorite photographs that I had taken/were taken of me throughout the year. I’ve recently completed my “In a Nutshell” post for 2014- due to be published on New Year’s Eve, and thought that I would put together another post ’til then of my ten favorite photographs from this year!

It was hard to narrow it down to just ten photos, because I saw so many great places, did so many fun things, and met so many wonderful people this past year- so I was frequently re-arranging my list- adding and omitting things- but I think I finally have it sorted. Here’s my “Top 10” pictures that span the course of 2014!


# 10: Fireworks in Cape Cod (July 5th)

The best thing about the Fourth of July landing on a Friday this year was that any and all celebrations of the holiday were extended well into the weekend. Such was the case when my girlfriends and I headed to Cape Cod on Saturday, July 5th, to spend a day at the beach and watch some delayed fireworks displays. The shot above, taken as the sun was setting over nearby Hyannis, captured a group of teenagers setting off some smaller firecrackers near where my friends and I were lounging. It was a beautiful, memorable night.


# 9: Brighton Sharbino smothering me at Boston’s “Walker Stalker Convention” (June 14th)

While I met a lot of really fun actors and actresses at Boston’s very first “Walking Dead” centric-convention (Jon Bernthal and Steven Yeun being two of my favorites,) I had the most fun posing with Brighton Sharbino- the beautiful young lady who portrayed the unhinged Lizzie Samuels in Season 4. Brighton was a sweetheart, and was more than happy to oblige me when I asked her if she could smother me for the photo the way her character attempted to do to baby Judith in one of the most unnerving scenes of the show to date.


# 8: Abandoned House, Rhode Island (May 24th)

On a beautiful, sunny Spring day, after cleaning out and washing my car- I found myself traveling along the back roads heading towards Rhode Island to spend an afternoon in Newport. On the way, I passed this abandoned house- nearly being taken over by the elements and plants growing around it- and had to stop to snap a few photos of it, the partially collapsed garage next to it, and the abandoned VW Bus tucked away under a tree across the street. This was my favorite picture out of the bunch that I took that day.


# 7; The William H. Mason House. Thompson, CT. (March 16th)

This was another find while driving aimlessly one Sunday afternoon after grabbing a coffee and running some errands. I found myself in Connecticut, and spotted this beautiful (and unfortunately decaying) home off the side of the road. Some research into the area turned up information- specifically that this beautiful structure was once known as The William H. Mason House, and is currently scheduled for demolition due in part to the current owner (a wealthy New York-based interior designer,) failing at any attempt to preserve it. It’s a shame, really- because the building is gorgeous and could be turned into a number of things.


# 6: “Is my grin cheesy enough?” Old Orchard Beach (June 22nd)

While I visit Hampton Beach a lot throughout the year (it’s one of the easiest beaches to get to, after all-) June 2014 saw me returning to one of my favorite locations, Old Orchard Beach in Maine, for the first time since my teens. In the photo above, taken by my best friend Sean, I attempted to re-create an identical picture of me that was taken in the exact same spot when I was 16. Although my hair is much redder and my fashion sense is considerably better than it was at the time of the first photo- my big, cheesy grin is pretty much the same.


# 5: My favorite Starbucks date (October 2nd)

In the Fall of 2014, my niece began kindergarten and my brother started a new job. Because of scheduling conflicts- he recruited me to bring my niece to school a couple days every week. Since then, we’ve mastered making pancakes or french toast sticks in the a.m. while still getting her to her classroom on time. Sometimes, on the days we’re running a little behind and don’t have time to cook in my kitchen- we stop at Starbucks. I snapped this picture of her, mid-sip of her hot chocolate (because I’m not giving caffeine to a six year old,) while we were walking to her school.


# 4: Sleeping Red Panda, Roger Williams Park Zoo (May 18th)

As someone who has to bribe my dog with treats to get him to hold still for photos, it was a pleasant surprise to be able to snap a couple of pictures of some Red Pandas during a Springtime visit to the zoo/conservation society in Rhode Island. Granted, they were sleeping soundly at the time, so it wasn’t a challenge getting good shots- but this one, taken from a distance- is my favorite. His/Her little face is just so precious!


# 3: The Lizzie Borden Sofa, Fall River (February 15th)

I traveled, on a whim, to quite a few places in 2014. One of my earlier outings in the year, a short drive to Fall River, brought me to the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast one snowy afternoon where I, and maybe 5-6 other people, were given a tour of the legendary crime scene. I took this picture of the couch where, in 1892, Lizzie’s father Andrew was found murdered (the picture of the scene is easily available on Google- if any curious minds have the stomach to see it for themselves.) The tour was fun and informative, and the home is beautiful, if not a little bit creepy- and this will always be my favorite photo from the day.


# 2: Oliver’s Sunday Best (April 20th)

As a joke to surprise my mom this year, I dressed up my miniature schnauzer, Oliver, in a button up dress shirt, vest, and bow tie that I had picked up in the children’s department of a clothing store for Easter dinner at her house. I only kept the outfit on him long enough to take the photo above while he sat on her couch, but all of my relatives that were present at the time thought it was the cutest thing ever. Since then, I’ve turned this picture into a greeting card for friends and family alike. My little guy looks like such a dapper gentleman!


# 1: Ashley Dixon, San Diego Comic-Con (July 27th)

I hope a photo of myself ranking at #1 doesn’t come across as conceited or egotistical- I just really had the time of my life dressed as Daryl Dixon from “The Walking Dead” while at the biggest comic convention in the world over the Summer. This picture, snapped on the last day of SDCC by a stranger who had asked me to pose with his children a few minutes earlier outside the convention center- was taken just a half hour or so before the event and weekend came to a close. I was tired, hungry, and my feet hurt more than a little- but it was worth it and I really hope I can do it again someday.

And there they are- my top 10 photos from 2014! It’s been a blast going through all of my photos and albums from this year. So many good memories and great pictures from throughout the months.

Here’s hoping there’s even more of them next year!

Notes from SDCC: Day 4.

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I am LOVING these 'Game of Thrones' pedicabs!

I am LOVING these ‘Game of Thrones’ pedicabs!







It's blurry, mainly because I was fangirling SO HARD.

It’s blurry, mainly because I was fangirling SO HARD.


I’m taking a break from packing up my suitcase for my return flight to recap the fourth and final day of San Diego Comic-Con. That’s right- the long weekend of costumes, panels, surprise guests, and very long lines- has come to a close!

I spent the first half of yesterday in the exhibitors hall, purchasing gifts for some of my family and friends back home and snapping photos of the amazing cosplays and props on display- before bringing my loot back to my hotel room and returning to the convention in my Daryl Dixon costume again (it just didn’t feel right to end the weekend not dressed up!)

So what can I say about the overall experience of SDCC? Well for starters, I had an incredible time. As crazy and as hectic as it was at certain moments- I’m so happy and so grateful I had the opportunity to come to this beautiful city I love so dearly and see and experience as much as I did. I met wonderful, talented, fun, and creative people from all over- some of whom I’ve since traded contact information with and hope to see again and possibly collaborate with at future conventions.

I got to participate in awesome panels and see exclusive snippets and sneak peeks of upcoming projects in movies, television, and video games. I’m so psyched for the movie “Air,” and for Marvel’s “Agent Carter,” just to name a few. I’m still reeling from the fact that I was sitting mere feet away from Robert Kirkman himself. It all feels so surreal!

I also got some really awesome merchandise- some of it limited edition- that I can’t wait to display and wear proudly once I’m back on the East Coast. But I’ll get to that in a bit…

Would I come back for a second round of San Diego Comic-Con next year? Absolutely- and I hope I get the chance to do so when the time for pre-registration comes around. I definitely learned some tips and tricks for 2015 if I am fortunate enough to score weekend badges again, and I think they’d be beneficial to anyone looking to attempt SDCC:

1. Carefully plan what panels you want to see, and then prioritize them from there based on what you absolutely must be in attendance for and what can be skipped and watched in a designated “replay room” later on. There’s a good chance you may have to sacrifice seeing one or two panels over the course of the weekend since many of them run so close together and the rooms may not be located close to one another for convenient access. You also have to take into consideration that many panels have lines- long ones- so you’ve got to be prepared to do some waiting and miss out on some things from time to time to see the stuff you REALLY want to be present for..

2. Be sure to eat. Since lines at SDCC aren’t just limited to panels and merchandise booths (ask any of us who wanted to get Starbucks throughout the days in the convention center,) I highly recommend eating before you arrive- not only to save yourself from yet more waiting around, but to avoid being so hungry/thirsty that you end up losing your place in line to run and get something to snack on. I made the mistake of not eating much before I showed up for the first couple of days of the convention- and by the time the afternoon rolled around- I was feeling woozy. Bring a snack with you to hold you over until you leave to get a real meal. Security is pretty lenient when it comes to food and beverages.

3. Unless you plan on camping outside Hall H at all hours of the night to get into one of the bigger, more popular panels (“The Walking Dead,” “Game of Thrones,” and Marvel, for example-) check out the designated replay rooms I mentioned earlier. Some of the nearby hotels offer screenings of re-plays following the biggest panels for those who couldn’t make it into Hall H. It’s less crowded and there are no sleeping bags required.

4. Explore your surroundings! I had mentioned when I first arrived here that SO many places in downtown San Diego get into the Comic-Con spirit and have special events, parties, and promotions. If you want a break from walking the convention center- do some digging and head to the Gaslamp District! You’ll never know what or who you’ll see. Plus, you may even score some cool stuff!

5. It’s crowded. Just remember to breathe. There are times, especially in the exhibitors hall- where it is wall to wall people and moving more than a few inches at a time feels like a daunting, maybe even impossible task- as people stop to snap pics, pose, stare at merchandise, or try to find the end of a line. If you get claustrophobic- just try to breathe and relax. You won’t be trapped in that same spot for the rest of eternity. I promise.

And with all that being said- let me show you the stuff I got! Not pictured are the gifts for my friends and family- since those are already carefully packed away. This stuff is alllllllllll mine.


First up, from the Archie booth- I snagged a copy of “Afterlife with Archie” and “The Best of Betty and Veronica.” Afterlife, which briefly features my girl Cheryl Blossom, is a little dark and twisted- which is right up my alley- and the B&V book is a shot of nostalgia that I’ll probably be reading on the plane in a few hours.

Funko POP! Figurines hold a special place in my heart and around my place, mostly because of how friggin’ adorable they are- so when I saw this Alcide figurine from “True Blood,” complete with abs- I had to buy it. I mean, really- look at it:


Way too adorable.


From Skybound Entertainment, I snagged this adult-sized version of the wolf paw print t-shirt worn by Carl Grimes in “The Walking Dead.” I figure all I need is the oversized sheriff’s hat and I’m good to go.


From Her Universe, the makers of my Captain America cardigan I love so very much- I picked up this Black Widow jacket to wear in the Fall. It fits perfectly and is so, so comfortable and cozy. Plus- I feel like a bad ass in it.


And lastly, from Marvel- I couldn’t leave without getting some Winter Soldier/Bucky Barnes love. This hoodie is MASSIVE on me- but I don’t even care. It looks cool and it’s really, really soft and warm. As much as I dislike the cold weather- I’m rather looking forward to wearing this out and about when the temperatures begin to drop.

And that’s everything! Getting it all into my suitcase has been surprisingly easy- although closing my suitcase and zipping it shut might be a whole other story- one best reserved for tomorrow morning after I’ve had a good night’s sleep under my belt.

So long, San Diego! See you all back on the East Coast!


Notes from SDCC: Days 2 and 3.

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I can’t believe that another two days at San Diego Comic-Con have passed already! Be it the frenzy on the exhibit floor or the mad rush to get to panels- but it feels like it’s gone by so fast. I’m exhausted- definitely having a blast, no question- but exhausted just the same! As I’m writing this from my hotel room, I’ve got my feet up and am attempting to decompress from the whirlwind of the past couple of days before I try to get some sleep and prepare for the final day of SDCC.

Friday, the second day of the convention, saw me break out my Daryl Dixon cosplay- complete with (an unloaded) crossbow, tattered jeans, his signature angel wing vest, and a good amount of fake blood to give me that nice, dirty, post-apocalyptic bad ass look. I just FELT cooler when I had it all on, and some fellow TWD fans at the convention center really seemed to appreciate the effort, too- which was super exciting and made it all worth it.

Although I would have loved to have made it into the actual “Walking Dead” panel that morning, there was no way I was willing to camp outside Hall H at 3 a.m., and therefore I had to catch the replay at a nearby hotel following it’s recording. I did see the season five trailer, however- and once again- October can’t get here fast enough.








Despite Hall H being filled to capacity pretty much 99.9% of the time, I did manage to catch some less cut-throat panels in Ballroom 20 that I had been really excited for on Friday. The first, a panel by Entertainment Weekly called “Brave New Warriors,” featured actors Jon Bernthal, Tom Mison, Theo Rossi, Freddie Highmore, and Brenton Thwaites. It was ridiculously funny (Tom Mison especially!) and was followed up by Marvel’s Television panel- which offered some information about the highly-anticipated second season of “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” and a glimpse into their upcoming new series- which I CANNOT WAIT to see- “Agent Carter.”

I had seen the star of “Agent Carter,” Hayley Atwell, at the Marvel booth earlier that afternoon- and she’s so, so stunning.


After the convention on Friday, I washed the fake blood off of myself and changed into something a little more appropriate to go see a comedy show/live episode of Comedy Central’s “@midnight” with Chris Hardwick at the Balboa Theatre. Although I’ve walked by the theater no less than a hundred thousand times during my stays in the city- I’d never actually been inside of it ’til I saw the show. It’s a beautiful building.

And @midnight? Hilarious, as usual. I had tears running down my face from laughing so hard- and the live tweet-a-thon that was projected on a screen in front of the crowd prior to the show was a nice touch. #butts


Yesterday, the third day of San Diego Comic-Con, was also the day I wore the last of my three cosplay costumes. Probably the most intricate, difficult bodysuit to put together, what with all the leaves and hot glue gun burns it took to get it just right- I’m quite pleased with my Poison Ivy costume. Not pictured, since I couldn’t take photos/text/function with them on, were the leaf-covered gloves I carried with me around the convention center for photos:



Just to give you all an idea of the amount of leaves this took!

I have to say, as someone who has never cosplayed before-  I really, truly enjoyed it- and I don’t think I did half-bad for a first-timer! I felt confident enough in each costume- and the responses I got from other attendees and staff was overwhelmingly positive! I’ll definitely be wearing these costumes again for future conventions- and have already started thinking of ways to improve them and am coming up with new ideas, as well.




Yesterday was another morning through afternoon of posing and panels. There was one in particular I really wanted to see, as did a lot of other people- and to ensure I got a space- I took a lesson from Hall H and showed up a few hours early. It worked in my favor, though- not only because I got in and found myself a good seat- but because before my panel began, I got to see James Spader’s Q&A regarding the show “The Blacklist,” which I’ve heard good things about but have never seen. Everyone in the crowd was also given one of these fedoras, in the style worn by James Spader’s character, Reddington.






So, what was the panel I had so patiently waited to see? Why, Robert Kirkman’s Skybound Entertainment panel, of course! Robert Kirkman is a wonderful, yet evil mastermind- who has both improved/destroyed my life with his “Walking Dead” franchise, so it was such a treat to be able to be in the same room with him and David Alpert and listen to them discuss updates in other aspects of TWD world (i.e.- Telltale’s “Walking Dead” video game,) rather than just being limited to discussing the show.

Norman Reedus, forever my mancrush and still such a lovely human being- was also in attendance to discuss his upcoming movie with Skybound, entitled “Air.” We were shown a trailer- and it looks really, really intense. I’m excited to see it.

The panel was one of my favorites, and not just because of the content discussed or because Norman Reedus is very attractive- but because it was funny, moderated fantastically, and the questions some excited fans asked were a lot of fun to hear.

I had wanted to stick around the convention center for the “American Horror Story: Coven” panel shortly thereafter- but the line was insanely long and I needed to get my uncomfortable boots off. I begrudgingly made my way back to my hotel, which actually provided an unexpected surprise: I saw Orlando Bloom just hanging out.



Today is the last day of San Diego Comic-Con, and my full report and summary will be updated after that. Most of the panels are more family and children-oriented today, which means I’ll be roaming the convention center one final time (and not in costume) to snap photos of any exhibits or cosplays I didn’t get the chance to photograph over the past few days.

I can’t believe it’s almost over!

Notes from SDCC: Preview Night and Day 1.

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I have arrived! I’m here! And it feels like I hit the ground running the moment my plane landed this past Tuesday afternoon. Yes, I’ve reached the bustling center of all things fandom-related and I am right smack in the middle of San Diego Comic-Con! With three days left of the convention, I thought I’d use some of my downtime to unwind and recap my very first day (and night!) of SDCC before I dive head-first into what is shaping up to be a really busy second day.



As stated previously in this post, I arrived in San Diego late Tuesday afternoon. My hotel, the same one I typically stay at whenever I’m in town, is right off the Gaslamp District- which in turn is literally minutes away from the convention center. As I approached my hotel via cab from the airport, it was clear to see that Comic-Con wasn’t just limited to the convention center- but had extended well into downtown San Diego, as well. So many of the buildings were decorated- some elaborately- to advertise shows, games, and movies that were being predominantly featured at the con. Come to find out, many local bars and restaurants in the Gaslamp District were and are having their own special promotions, contests, and previews for convention attendees and locals alike.

My hotel is also located right across the street from Petco Park, which just held a Nerdist-sponsored laser tag tournament and will be transformed into “The Walking Dead: Escape” today through Saturday. Literally EVERYWHERE is celebrating SDCC!

Wednesday, having most of the morning and afternoon freed up until the doors opened for attendees with consolidated admission (like mine,) to pick up their badges- I managed to have a lovely lunch and car ride around town with my good friend Duncan, who I haven’t seen since the last time I was in town in September 2013. I love him!

When it did eventually come time to pick up my badge, I was also provided with a detailed, elaborate guide to all events, panels, guests, artists, locations, times, etc. to the convention- a souvenir book- and a durable and oversized backpack to carry my stuff in. Since it clashes with my costumes, I’ve opted to use it to store my belongings I picked up at the convention for the flight home, instead.





Batsuit nipples!




With my consolidated weekend pass, I also had access to Wednesday night’s preview night- where I spent the majority of the evening within the exhibit hall- checking out different vendors and artists- and getting a head start on what I can only assume will be a bit of a weekend shopping spree (my collective haul will be shared in a later post!) While there were some panels going on, I think it was best for me to get my bearings in the exhibit room- which was packed in a matter of minutes- to sort of get used to the crowds and figure out where everything was. I also saw the first of many amazing cosplays!

My favorite part of the hall, however, had to be the re-creation of the tunnel leading to a replica of the Terminus shrine (and of course, it featured some very convincing walkers!) to promote the upcoming fifth season of “The Walking Dead.” It was so well done and so detailed!







Now, with this being my first ever San Diego Comic-Con experience, I thought I’d make it a weekend of firsts and try my hand at cosplaying- a hobby I often enjoyed watching others participate in but had been too indecisive, and frankly- shy- to try myself.

With yesterday being the first official day of the convention- I decided to start slow, breaking in my Cheryl Blossom costume. Surprisingly enough- I got some love (especially from the folks at the Archie Comics booth!) and even had a few people stop me to take a photo with/of me- proving once again that the “Archie” series is still classic and that Cheryl is an awesome, recognizable, underrated character.



This was made entirely out of Lego blocks!




Pam & Cheryl/Carol/Charlene!

Pam & Cheryl/Carol/Charlene!



Again, being new to the SDCC scene- I took it slow yesterday, mapping out locations and even managing to catch a couple of panels from Riot Games and Blizzard Entertainment before I stepped out to have a couple of beers with a friend.

Today I’ll be going into Daryl Dixon mode- and I can’t wait to snap a few photos once the costume is on and ready. I worked so hard on everything I brought with me to wear and display, and it feels so awesome to finally be able to do it! Also, now that I (sort of) have my bearings- I’m planning on making an attempt to catch a few panels I know for sure I don’t want to miss. There’s already a lot of people camped outside the coveted Hall H to establish their positions within the room- but we’ll see how it goes!

Stay tuned for more updates!

Prepare for Takeoff…

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Well, it’s finally here. The costumes are packed. The props are prepped. My suitcase is by the door, and all I have to do is throw in my toothbrush in the morning before I dash out to the airport- and from there I will be en route to my week-long vacation- and San Diego Comic-Con! I’m excited, and giddy, and nervous all at once. Despite the fact that I fly fairly frequently- I still get a little jittery prior to takeoff. Luckily, I’m flying with Virgin America (for the very first time!) and I hear they’re a lot of fun. It also helps that I’m fully prepared for my flight and have my carry-on ready to go.

There was a time, in the not too distant past, where I would be the woman in line at the airport at 6:30 a.m. waiting for my turn to step through the security checkpoint in my six inch heels, a full face of makeup, and carrying a bag that was so weighed down with stuff I didn’t even need to bring on board that by the time we took off- my shoulder was throbbing from holding it up for so long.

I always wanted to step off the plane looking like I’d just come off a runway at Fashion Week- but I consistently never took into consideration how the high altitudes, cabin pressure, what I ate/drank on the plane, or simply falling asleep and unconsciously touching my fully dolled-up face while I snoozed would affect my skin, my hair, and my overall feeling of comfort and wellness. My flight would touchdown in whatever location I was headed to- and I would start towards the baggage claim- typically looking disheveled, sleepy, and feeling very hungry and/or dehydrated.

Thankfully, over time I’ve tweaked and developed a pre-flight and “carry-on” system that works well for me. My bag is lighter, I’m more comfortable during the flight, and when I get off the plane- I don’t feel like a frazzled, exhausted, cranky mess.

For starters, I dress a little more casual. Don’t get me wrong- wear what you like and what you feel good in, and if you can rock stiletto heels at the airport and you feel fierce as hell doing it- I say all the more power to you. But for me? I opt for sneakers or flats, looser fitting denim or yoga pants, and cotton t-shirts that are just a couple of sizes too big on me so they aren’t clinging to me for hours. This is especially helpful if I nod off during the flight. I can sleep in peace.

Since I typically fly in the morning, I eat a big breakfast before I leave my place. This prevents me from grabbing something unhealthy (and usually overpriced,) while I wait at my gate. If I have a coffee, I make sure it’s well before I reach the airport so I can get my caffeine kick without amplifying the cabin pressure induced skin dryness as the plane ascends.

I keep my makeup simple: BB creams or tinted moisturizers- products that will give me a little coverage, maybe even a subtle glow, and ample hydration without making me feel oily or look shiny. A little mascara. A little lip balm- and I’m feeling fresh-faced enough to fly.

Of course, I do bring a few touch-up items in my carry-on, which is what this whole post was initially about- what’s in my carry-on?

The Necessities:

My wallet, of course. I double check no less than ten times to make sure I have my license, my debit card, my cash, and yes- my Starbucks card.

My phone. I don’t usually keep my phone on, or even in airplane mode during a flight- but when I have a layover- it’s nice to have on me so I can send desperate texts of airport boredom to friends.

My camera. I’m not a shutterbug on the plane by any means, but I rarely leave home without it and I always like to have it close by in case there’s something worth documenting.

In-Flight Entertainment:

I’ve had my little green iPod for six years, I believe. It’s been with me wherever I’ve go, be it on a plane, on a train, in my car, or when I go for a walk. I like to load it up with new albums and podcasts prior to traveling to ensure I have hours worth of material to listen to.

Books & magazines [ not pictured. ] Although I don’t like spending money at airports, if my airline doesn’t offer a movie or some form of distraction- I’ll usually pick up a couple of magazines or an interesting looking book at the gift shop prior to boarding to pass the time if and when my iPod battery eventually dies out on me.


So even though there’s a water bottle in the photo, TSA guidelines prohibit people from bringing drinks or other large amounts of liquids from outside the airport through security, but once you’ve passed the checkpoint- you can stock up prior to taking off. I used to sip a Venti coffee during flights, but I noticed my skin felt extremely dry by the time I landed. Now, I grab 1-2 large water bottles and drink those during my flight, instead, to keep myself hydrated and refreshed.

When it comes to snacking, airline peanuts are all well and good- but I prefer something that will hold me over so I don’t go craving-crazy once I land. Granola bars or dried fruit always seem to find their way into my carry-on bag.

I can’t fly without having chewing gum- not only because I like having minty fresh breath at all times, but because the chewing sensation keeps my ears from popping in high altitudes.


It doesn’t matter if you’re flying to/over/through the tropics- airplanes are cold. As someone who is completely opposed to frigid temperatures, I always bring a cardigan or a light jacket with me when I fly. I’m currently loving my Captain America cardigan, courtesy of the fine folks over at HER UNIVERSE. This one is making the journey to San Diego with me- especially for Comic-Con!

I never leave home without my sunglasses, and my sunglasses never seem to come in handy more than they do when I’m trying to catch a nap during travel. These cat-eye shades are perfect for when I want to rest my eyes and don’t want the sun to disturb me while I’m up in the air.

Beauty Touch-Ups:

When it’s approaching time to land, I usually bust out a light brown/taupe eyeliner and highlighter pencil to quickly give my eyes a little pop of color and/or a much needed “pick me up” (especially if there’s been turbulence- in which case my mascara will almost certainly end up running down my cheeks and I’ll need to fix my face- and fast.)

I also bring a moisturizing lip balm with me to keep the cabin pressure from drying out and cracking my pout. For tomorrow’s flight, I’ll be accompanied by this pink Pixi balm- which I reviewed in my most recent Ipsy Bag post!

Dryness is a reoccurring theme when I talk about flying- and it doesn’t just affect my face or my lips. My hands and elbows can also get a little patchy after a lot of time up in the sky- so I always pack a small, TSA-approved tube of lotion or tin of balm to occasionally apply to problem areas so my skin is moisturized and glowing when I land.

All of these products are lightweight, will fit comfortably in my bag, and won’t weigh me down when I’m making my way through security, to my gate, onto the plane, and then to the baggage claim after I land. I’ll be able to rest easy and enjoy my flight knowing I have the essentials and some helpful products with me (and that everything else is stored safely in my luggage!)

And that’s what will be in my carry-on tomorrow morning! I’m planning on updating from California as Comic-Con gets underway, and will most certainly be sharing my completed costumes on here. I’ll also be frequently updating my Instagram (HERE) and Twitter account (HERE) during my trip!

See you all on the West Coast!


SDCC ’14.

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One of my more “just for fun” New Years Resolutions for 2014 was to attend San Diego Comic-Con, the biggest multi-genre fan convention in the United States. I hadn’t invested too much hope into successfully completing the resolution, however- since I knew well in advance how difficult it was to get tickets- which typically sell out within minutes for the general public. Even still, I created an account at SDCC’s official website and patiently waited for an opportunity to participate in what I had only assumed was a “Hunger Games”-style bloodbath the day badges/passes were made available to the masses.

That day was today, and the bloodbath in question actually turned out to be a carefully coordinated lottery-style system. Hopeful attendees entered a virtual “waiting room” during a specific time bracket this morning, and then were randomly given a position in a queue before tickets went on sale. If and when they reached the front of the queue, they could purchase badges/passes for any or all days available.

By pure, dumb luck- my wait in the queue wasn’t long- and I was able to obtain badges for each day of San Diego Comic-Con, including the preview night on Wednesday, July 23rd. Needless to say, I’m beyond giddy and grateful. This will be my first year attending SDCC, and I don’t think I could possibly be anymore excited to experience as much as possible.

Before it was announced that tickets were going to be made available today, I had briefly thought about whether or not I would make my own costumes to wear should I be fortunate enough to attend. Now that I am, I’ve decided to go through with crafting and creating three costumes on my own. I’ve never done it before, and I’m always up for trying new things:

Artwork by Brian Bolland.

Artwork by Brian Bolland.

My first, and possibly most intricate attempt at a costume, will be of Poison Ivy- my favorite (redheaded!) villain from the Batman-verse. I’ve got an idea of how I want the costume to look, which is more along the lines of the comic book version of Poison Ivy and less Uma Thurman-“Batman & Robin”-ish- and may or may not include something robotic attached to it- assuming I can get it to work properly!

Betty and Veronica #320

Betty and Veronica #320

My second costume attempt will be of my other favorite redheaded villain- this one from Riverdale instead of Gotham- Cheryl Blossom. I was a big fan of the Archie Comics series when I was a kid, and while my friends were choosing between Betty and Veronica, I always liked Cheryl the best. She was devious for sure- but she had the best wardrobe for a cartoon high school student.

Courtesy of AMC & Entertainment Magazine

Courtesy of AMC & Entertainment Magazine

And lastly, I can’t go to my very first San Diego Comic-Con without repping one of my favorite characters on one of my favorite shows. My third and final costume attempt will be none other than everyone’s favorite crossbow wielding, lovable redneck- Daryl Dixon. While I’d love to rock an ear necklace and a belt of dead squirrels à la season 2 Daryl- season 4 Daryl has a pretty kickass ensemble going on (including the hideous-but-beloved poncho from season 3,) so I think I’ll be working around that.

I’ll probably be posting updates leading up to SDCC about how my costume designs are going, both here and on my Instagram. I’m just really, really excited and stunned that I was able to get badges for such an iconic event. I hope to meet some new, wonderful people at SDCC- and catch up with some old friends while I’m in town, too!