Friday Round Up

Links, loves and Instagrams from the last week.

Friday Round Up

1. Selfie time. 2. Caribbean cooking demo from Chef Lorenzo. 3. Rum cocktails

Favourite Outfits  – Amazing how much a signature piece can make you feel good. Red, polka dots, and a red lip? I need to dress like this more often. It makes me much happier than it should.

Birmingham Caribbean Festival – I went to the launch of Birmingham Caribbean Festival in the week, with Ryan of Brummie Gourmand. We were treated to rum cocktails, a range of incredible fish canapes by Le Monde, and two live cooking demonstrations. Chef Lorenzo spoiled us with Ackee & Saltfish, Jerk Chicken and Halloumi, then we were spoilt more by Kitchen Thyme, who provided two deserts of Passion Fruit Mess, Cococnut Icecream with rum caramel, and a Chocolate…something I cannot remember the name of. It was amazing. I am now super excited for the festival.

This week’s links:
Geeky Brummie.
Not to get political, but also to get political…Brexit broke the economy.
Body shaming ads banned on London public transport.
DC sewing patterns for Bombshells.
Shocks of being an adult.

Currently watching: I watched Orange is the New Black all in one go and I have a lot of feelings about it. FEELS. Currently watching Dexter, which I have a lot less feelings about. It is good though.

Currently reading: Reader on The 6.27 and  feeling sophisticated because it’s a french translation.

On repeat:

Reasons I am Robin Scherbatsky

Have you ever felt an affinity with a fictional character? You know you have a fictional twin when  other people in your life keep telling you about it too. There are a lot of reasons I am Robin Scherbatksy, of How I Met Your Mother, and I spend a lot of time being told “Oh my God, you are Robin!” Here’s why…

Robin Scherbatsky feelings

Feelings are not my favourite

Not where people can see them, anyway. Sure, I have them, I just prefer to keep my cards close to my chest. Public displays of emotion are not for me, whether they’re mine or other peoples’.  Robin, I understand your discomfort.

Reasons I am Robin Scherbatsky

We’re both a tiny bit scary

So people tell me anyway. This probably comes from that whole displaying no emotions thing. Oops?

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We have our priorities straight

Is that a cake? Let’s be best friends? Are we going out? Great, what are we eating first? Let’s go and get incredible burgers. Robin and I know what’s really important.

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Gender norms? Nah!

One of my favourite things about Robin is how she messes with gender norms. She’s attractive, well-dressed and feminine, but also has a lot of so-called ‘masculine’ traits with her taste for whiskey, hockey and cigars. As a girly girl who enjoys rugby, american football and a good pint of cider, I can relate.

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We like the finer things in life. Like alcohol.

In a healthy way, obviously… Robin and I both appreciate a large glass of wine after a rough day. Or a Monday. After a day.

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We prefer to run the show

Trust us. It’s better this way. We’re happier, and we’re a bit scary, remember? Best to just give us our own way.

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Kids make us very uncomfortable

Nope. Scary and unpredictable. And sticky. And why do babies come with a self destruct button? Terrifying! Congratulations on your baby and everything, but no, I do not want to hold it.

giphy (1) We’re geeks

Robin references Harry Potter kind of often. I can understand the need to reference your fandom of choice. Constantly. Wear your geekdom with pride!

 

Anyone else had their personality stolen for TV?

Comics Giveaway

Comics Giveaway

Last week, I hit 1000 likes on my Facebook page, and I’m celebrating with a comics giveaway.

I’ve had that page for some time now, long before I was a cosplayer. I set it up as a blogger and struggled with what to post. I racked up 100 likes and stalled. Then I started cosplaying. I wondered whether to share my cosplay on the page or whether it should go somewhere else. Would anybody be interested? Gradually, I started sharing. Pictures and stories from con. The more I shared, the more attention it got. I started to work with photographers and began to share the results of shoots.

Boudoir Silk Spectre

Since pushing harder to market my cosplay, I’ve had some fantastic adventures. This year, I got to be a cosplay guest for the first time. I joined a radio show. I’m getting approached by photographers, both for cosplay and other styles.

I wanted to say thank you. To celebrate reaching 1000 likes, and to say thank you for making those adventures happen, I’ve launched a giveaway on my Facebook page. Up for grabs is a selection of comics, including some of Rogue’s 2009 solo run and exclusives from Free Comic Book Day. There’s also merch from Firefly and X-Men (more to be added too) and I’ll throw in a signed, personalised print.

If you’d like to get your paws on this lot, head over to my page and follow the instructions on the pinned post.

Lara Croft cosplay

Friday Round Up

Links, loves and Instagrams from the last week.

Friday Round Up

1. The remains of Central Library. 2. Me without coffee. 3. Silk Spectre by GAK Photography

Getting Outside – I’ve got into the habit this week of getting off the bus to work a few stops early and walking through one of my favourite parts of town, past the library and the business district. I get a little more exercise, a little more fresh air, and my mornings are nicer for it. I pick up a coffee and head to the office in a good mood. I’m also liking seeing the progress of the demolition of the old Central Library. I’m sorry to see the building go, but the remains of it sticking up amongst the beautiful old buildings of the square behind it, and the dramatic modern look of the new library look so strange and striking. Very post apocalyptic!

Coffee – Coffee is always a highlight of my week. With a new pop-up downstairs at work, visits to the coolest coffee venues in town and being very amused by this sign, it’s been a particularly good coffee week.

MCM Photos – More pictures are coming back, and I am LOVING them.

This week’s links:
Listen again to Geeky Brummie’s Sidekick Takeover.
Politics got surreal.
Birmingham Summer bucket list.
Why everyone should go and see Bruce Springsteen.

Currently watching: The Paradise. Basically the BBC version of Mr Selfridge. Love a bit of period drama.

Currently reading: Number 11 by Jonathan Coe.

On repeat:

Friday Round: Bumper Edition

Links, loves and Instagrams from the last (few) weeks.

Friday Round Up

Field – Welsh National Opera currently have an installation outside of the Millennium Centre in Cardiff. These 923 lights (which gradually light up red as it gets dark) are meant to be poppies, to represent each of the 923 men Royal Welch Fusiliers who died at the Battle of the Somme. You can walk amongst the poppies, and it’s actually very sobering. The sense of scale of how many lives were lost is humbling.

MCM Expo London – COMIC CON! Hot. Crowded. Amazing. Such a high standard of cosplay this year. I got to hang out with all my favourite cosplayers, and even got in a couple of shoots. I do wonder about the crowd levels this time around though. It felt a lot fuller than usual.

Photoshoots – Me and some friends got to play model in a studio with Sandy Smith Photography. I now want to shoot all my costumes like that.

Wonder Woman  – Corset arrived, so cosplay is officially in progress.

Brum Wolf – Amazing movie poster from Keith of Geeky Brummie. Love this so much. Listen to the show to find out why we did this.

Free coffee – There’s a new pop-up underneath work, in the form of The Coffee Lab, currently popping up in Wilderness Cafe. We got a little freebie drink to test out the coffee. I think I have my morning coffee stop now.

This week’s links:
Birmingham’s Street Art.
Birmingham’s Hidden Gems.
Video pranksters cash in on abusing women.
Feminism and frills – just for the rich?
Sims 4 removes gender restrictions.
Marvel to make X-Men spin off series.
The value of cosplay guests.

Currently watching: iZombie. I’m not a zombie fan and I love this. Watch it. It’s wonderful. Then send me the comic.

Currently reading: The Secret History of Wonder Woman, which should be required reading, I think.

On repeat:

 

30 Before 30: PinUp Photoshoot

30 Before 30: Pinup Photoshoot | Caramel Latte KIss

Photo by Red Rogue Photography

As part of my 30 Before 30 list, I wanted to do a pinup photoshoot. I have loved pinup style for a long time, from classic Vargas girls to the current group of models and photographers like October Divine and Sinderella Rockerfella.

I always used to be someone who really hated having my photo taken, and I’ve gradually got more used to it. As a cosplayer, I am becoming more and more comfortable in front of the camera and am pushing myself to be part of more interesting shoots. Being photographed as myself, however, was a lot more difficult. A while back, I shot with the incredible Cat Marie, and the results of that remain some of my favourite ever photos of me. Pinup was a whole new challenge. Pinup should, of course, be ‘attractive’. There is a flirtation involved as a pinup model, and I wasn’t sure if that was something I could do.

Since setting myself the challenge, I’ve actually done two shoots; one with Red Rogue Photography and one with Pinupzania.

PinUp Photography West Midlands

Photos by Red Rogue Photography

I shot first with Jane, of Red Rogue Photography. This seemed like a nice way to ease in to it, as Jane is a cosplay friend of mine. She needed some models for her college portfolio, so two birds with one stone, I got to play pinup.

I have a few pieces of pin-uppy clothing already in my wardrobe, so I get dressed up in my best polka dots. Jane brought loads of props for me to play with, including a beautiful vintage suitcase that belonged to her grandmother. We got silly, and I got in the case and waved records around and generally had a good time. Posing wasn’t too difficult, but I found those cheesecakey pinup faces really tricky. You very much have to get over yourself and not care about looking a bit silly. Not an easy ask!

I was really pleased with the shots I got back from Jane – the vibe is fun and super retro, which is what I love about classic pinup.

Pinupzania | Caramel Latte Kiss

Photos by Pinupzania

Pinupzania (who now also shoots cosplay as Geekzania) was a whole other experience. Stuart has been shooting pinup professionally for a long time, and wasn’t someone I already knew. We’d spoken on Facebook about shooting some of my cosplay (you can see those pictures on my Facebook page) and while I was there, I decided to be a cheek and get some pinup too. Stuart was wonderful; very patient with newbie me and he gave really clear instructions for what he wanted me to do. I was very nervous, and the style of these is more modern than the cheesecake style of Jane’s work, and it was really interesting to work in a different way. It was a lot more challenging without the safety net of the props too.

Both my pinup shoots were a hell of a lot of fun. I am well and truly bitten by the pinup bug now. I would love to do one of those makeover and shoot days too, and shoot more pinup! I am enjoying photoshoots more and more now and am gradually becoming more relaxed, which is exactly what I wanted to achieve. Calling it. This task? Complete!

Friday Round Up

Links, loves and Instagrams from the last week.

Birthday week klaxon! We started things off awesome, with the usual trip to the Brum Radio studio, this time with David in tow. We played Mr and Mrs X-Men style, had a round of Top Trumps and generally had a blast. A small fortune was spent in Nostalgia & Comics, before going out for dinner. I ate my body weight in ragu and chocolate brownie, washed down with a bottle of Prosecco. We met up with a couple of friends for some drinks, and honestly, I couldn’t have started my birthday better.

There’ll be a full blog post soon about the photoshoot I had on Sunday, so I’ll just say it was awesome, and I am so excited to share the photos.

The week has been a mix of work, Netflix and reading. Perfect.

Friday Round Up

1. Geeky Brummie team picture. 2. Testing Poison Ivy makeup. 3. Poundshop Cosplay Zorro. 4. Kaylee collection!

This week’s links:
James Bond betting suspended after flurry of Tom Hiddleston punts.
Geeky Brummie latest show.
Meet the Mother of Cosplay.
Black Widow movie? Kevin Feige says so!

Currently watching: Love, the Netflix original series. I really liked Gillian Jacobs in Community, and I feel like Britta and her character in Love could be the same person.

Currently reading: The Cuckoo’s Calling. Too early to say if I like it or not yet.

On repeat:

Envy. Going Flexitarian at Marmalade

It’s time for another round of the Seven Deadly Sins with Bitters ‘n’ Twisted and Brumderland. This time around was Envy, at Marmalade. Marmalade is situated in The Rep theatre on Broad Street. Serving up lunch, pre-theatre meals and after show cocktails, Marmalade is a little different to the usual Bitters N Twisted venue.

Marmalade Birmingham After Show Cocktails

Like all the Bitters venues, Marmalade has a signature spirit. Their speciality is Vermouth, a fortified wine spirit used in a lot of classic cocktails. According to those in the know at Marmalade, Vermouth is a due a come-back and follow gin into being the hot spirit of the moment. We kicked things off with a welcome drink using Vermouth; the Bitter The Devil You Know, which also includes spritzer and blueberry syrup.

Most of the cocktail menu, like the whole venue, has a literary spin, with names inspired by famous plays or books. Special cocktails are created to match with whatever show is on at The Rep, so the choice is constantly changing.

Vegetarian dining in Birmingham

The menu has a ‘flexitarian’ theme, catering for meat-eaters, pescatarians, vegetarians and vegans alike, with the same focus and attention put into all the dishes. No second though boring veggie option here! Each of the samples we had were paired with a cocktail. From these stage…things got a little hazy.

Cocktail food pairing

We started with a vegetarian option of Halloumi, fried and coated in sesame seeds. The cheese was paired with La Vie En Rose (gin, creme de casis, dry white wine and peach bitters), which is designed to work with the ‘meatiness’ of the cheese, almost like a red wine. It reminded me of a sweeter port, and the sweetness worked well with the salty cheese. I love halloumi, so this was always going to be a good option with me.

For fish, we had salmon marinated in tequila served with a wasabi dressing, paired with a tequila based cocktail which doesn’t have a name yet. The salmon was delicious, with just the right amount of kick from the wasabi. I can’t say I could taste tequila though. The cocktail was citrusy and refreshing, just right with the fish.

Our meat eaters option was Beef Skewers with Captain Ahab’s Grog (ginger preserve, spiced rum, apricot liqueur, lime, plum bitters and pomegranate juice). The beef was well cooked, but nothing to write home about for me – it was a nice beef skewer with some vegetables, but after the more unusual pairing of flavours from other dishes, I wasn’t as enamoured with this. The Grog, however, was my favourite cocktail of the night. It was fruity and spicy from the combination of ginger and juices, and more than made up for a less thrilling skewer.

The vegan choice was chestnut mushroom and hazelnut pate on toast, served with Midsummer Day Dream (Aperol, limoncello, fresh lemon, raspberry, rose & orange bitters and soda). The pate was converting a lot of meat-eaters in the room, which tells you how tasty it was. The cocktail looked beautiful, served with a wedge of orange, and was full of flavour.

Marmalade is a great stop, whether it’s for pre-theatre or for a cocktails with friends. Check it out and tell them I sent you.

 

Disclaimer: I was invited along to Marmalade to test out their new menu. All opinions are honest and my own.

Friday Round Up

Links, loves and Instagrams from the last week.

Friday Round Up

Casual Rogue

Last Saturdy was Free Comic Book Day, or Nerd Christmas, as I like to think of it. The comics version of Record Store Day, it’s all about rewarding comic fans, drawing in new ones, and getting people into their local comic stores. I went down to Nostalgia and Comics, my comic shop of choice, and got my hands on a good selection of the free titles on offer. I debated for ages about cosplaying, and eventually decided on a compromise and threw together a very last minute, casual version of Rogue. It actually went down a treat and I got stopped a few times for pictures.

We had Mr B the Gentleman Rhymer as a guest on Geeky Brummie. I discovered Mr B when I was living in Bath, so it was so great to get to meet him. He was super nice, which was good, and I really enjoyed getting to talk to him.

Otherwise this week, I’ve mostly been working and cooking. There are worse things to fill your week with…

This week’s links:
11 lessons the X-Men movies can learn from the cartoons.
Next X-Men film set in the 90s.
L
isten again to Geeky Brummie.

Currently reading: The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell. Slow to get going, but wonderful when it does.

Currently watching: RuPaul season 8. What else?

On repeat:

Friday Round Up

I feel I packed about two weeks of things into one week. I started on Friday with a night at Rofuto, a new sushi restaurant. I talk about it at some length in the vlog, but in a nutshell, the views are incredible, the sushi was amazing, the cocktails were nice, all the rest was fine and it was very expensive. I won’t trip over myself to go back.

As always, I had the best time hanging out the Geeky Brummie team at Brum Radio…a team I’m joining! After kidding about being the cosplay correspondent, the guys invited me to join the team. I am so, so excited and I can’t wait to get going on all the awesome ideas we have.

On Sunday, I saw Captain America: Civil War. No spoilers, but I enjoyed it. I would have liked to see more Black Widow, and I wasn’t overly sold on Spiderman’s suit, but my mum takes best review. Where’s Wolverine?

A full blog post is to come on the latest of Brumderland’s Seven Deadly Sins events, but we’ll just address that it was awesome, and I bloody love bloggers.

Friday Round Up

Sushi and views

This week’s links:
50 most influential foodies.
Best reasons to live in Birmingham.
Fictional relationships that don’t swallow the plot.
Geeky Brummie.

Currently watching: RUPAUL. Yeah, season 8 of Drag Race! I don’t have a favourite queen though. Still. What’s that about?

On repeat: