Cosplay 101: What Should I Take To a Convention?

Cosplay 101

Conventions are fun places to be, but it can be super tiring, and hard on your costumes. Pack yourself a little cosplay convention survival kit and it’ll make your day much easier. Here’s my top items that you should take to a convention.

Plasters  – Because cosplay shoes are often stupid and give blisters. Pack some plasters so you can cover any rubbed places on your feet. You can buy proper blister plaster which are great if your shoes are rubbing the back of your heels.

Sewing kit  – Cosplay mishaps happen. Packing a small sewing kit with some thread and sewing needles is an excellent idea in case of accidents. Not all cons have a cosplay repair desk. Throw some safety pins in too.

Hairpins – If you’re wearing a wig, or have created a fancy hairdo, pack some spare pins, in case of slipping. A hair band or two wouldn’t hurt either.

Business cards  – Take your cards, so you can give them to people who take your photo so they can find you afterwards.

Makeup – At the least, take some face powder to reduce shine, and whatever lip product you’ve used so you can reapply after eating and drinking.

Water  – Drink lots of it. Please? Bottled water is always over priced at cons, so if you can, take a bottle in with you.

Phone charger or power bar  – You will hammer your phone battery taking photos. Take something to charge it with so you don’t get stranded.

Cash  – Don’t assume the stalls will accept card. Lots don’t, and the queues for the cash machine are always hideous. Take cash out before you get to the con.

Optional extras  – Pack some snacks, or sandwiches if you’re really organised, to save spending on convention food. Pain killers, tissues and make-up wipes are a great idea too for surprise headaches, spills or snotty noses. Cosmetic tape can save you from cosplay slips.


Pack your survival kit into a bag that goes with your costume, and away you go!

Anything other convention essentials I’ve missed?


This entry was posted in Cosplay.

Reasons I am Bridget Jones

Despite not being a singleton, my friends are always amused by my ‘Bridget Jones’ life of what I like to call ‘charming incompetence’. I might like to think I’m Robin Scherbatsky, but let’s be honest, I’m probably a Bridget. Here’s my reassons I am Bridget Jones.

There’s never anything in my fridge

Reason I am Bridget Jones

Not strictly true, right now there is wine in there. And tonic water and some Brie. Totally fine.

As Tatianna says, Choices. 

Bridget Jones vodka

I actually don’t choose vodka, I choose gin. But the point stays…I like a drink, what can I say?

I know my own limitations


In a nice way, of course, but feeling competent doesn’t come naturally. Does it for any of us?

I have great intentions of glamour, but they never quite go as planned. 


I have it all planned. Shame I don’t have the glamorous personality to match, and always end up knocking something over or spilling a drink into my bag or tripping over my own feet. One day…

I know the importance of a good dance session


Sometimes the only thing to do is vogue.

I can rock a costume


Cosplayer. Come on. No such thing as awkward in a costume.

Cooking is not my strong point


Let’s not even go though. I once used a bottle of rum as a rolling pin. At least I’ve never made blue soup I suppose.

I’m crap at exercise


It’s even worse than my cooking. No, really.

My friends are mad as a bag of cats, but absolutely wonderful


The best way for friends to be. Mad as hell, but the best human beings.

Friday Round Up

Links, loves and Instagrams from the last week.

Friday Round Up

MCM Birmingham – Last weekend was MCM Birmingham. We took out a new set of costumes, which went down a storm. We laughed, we ate, we caught up with lovely friends. It really brought home what great people I know purely through conventions and cosplaying. We celebrated the birthday of one, met the five month old baby of another, and got invited to the wedding of a third. All people I only met through this odd hobby. It was a lovely reminder.

Magical Lantern Festival – Brand new to Brum, the Magical Lantern Festival has set up shop at the Botanical Gardens. Visitors will follow a trail around Botanical Gardens and explore amazing giant lanterns, which represent Christmas, traditional Chinese culture and the amazing 2000-year heritage of Lantern Festivals. I went to the launch, and was amazed by the seriously beautiful lights. An excellent way to start Christmas!

Rush – I also got invited to a pampering night at Rush Hair Salon. I had my hair waved by one of the stylists, who was full of useful tips and suggestions for styling my hair and holding curl. I loved the finished look, but as usual, the curl had dropped out by the time I got home….

Listen back to Geeky Brummie here:

Friday Round Up

Links, loves and Instagrams from the last week.

Friday Round Up

Christmas Shopping  – I feel super organised about Christmas, which is always a good feeling. I’m about halfway through my own shopping, and went with Mum to assist in hers on Sunday. We did well, buying wine glasses for me and a jumper for her, and only one present. Oops. I have got pretty new wine glasses though, so that’s good.

Mockingbird  – On Tuesday, I went along to the relaunch of Mockingbird Kitchen and Cinema. They’ve had the cinema kit replaced and are relaunching as a full-time cinema. The food offering remains pretty good, and the bar itself is a great place for a drink. I went with a couple of others from Brum Radio, and we had an excellent evening.

This week’s links:
The reality of working and blogging.
Self care week 2016.
Listen back to Geeky Brummie.


Friday Round Up

Links, loves and Instagrams from the last week.

Friday Round Up

Kat Von D  – Kat Von D’s makeup line is now available at Debenhams, which is pretty exciting. To celebrate, they sent me a couple of her products to have a play with. I got the Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Echo and the Studded Kiss Lipstick in Nayeon. Echo is a navy blue, and the liquid lipstick is a lovely smooth formula, and super easy to apply. I love the packaging of the Studded Kiss lipsticks, and Nayeon is a beautiful blue-black shade, with glitter. I combined that with a smokey eye and a black glitter liner. And my Poison Ivy wig. Because why not? I love the formulas of both, but I’m not sure how much use I’ll get from these colours outside of cosplay.

Autumn  – The autumn colours have really set in around Birmingham and it’s so pretty! I love orange leaves.

1847 – Earlier this week, I went for a blogger dinner at Bistro 1847. It was amazing. You can read about it here.

This week’s links:
Why do we love and hate different tastes?
History tells us what may happen next after Trump.
Somebody made a Rick & Morty butter robot.
Crown prosecutors consider complaint against EU referendum.
12 reasons to visit Aberystwyth.
Luke Evans cast for Wonder Woman creator biopic.
5 blogging mistakes to avoid.

Bistro 1847, Birmingham

Bistro 1847 Birmingham

Brumderland can always be relied upon for excellent foody events. A select gang of bloggers were invited for a feast of autumnal vegetarian delights at Bistro 1847. Named after the year the Vegetarian Society was founded, 1847 serves modern dishes across four menus; á la carte, taster, Sunday lunch and express lunch. Founded in 2011, the collective of restaurants is all about pushing the boundaries of vegetarian cooking. The Birmingham location is in the Great Western Arcade, which is becoming quite the foody spot with more places opening all the time.

Where to eat in Birmingham

We were greeted with a glass of Prosecco and settled ourselves upstairs. The restaurant is small, but perfectly formed. The mezzanine level allows light to pour in, and the grey and white decor keeps the small space light and airy. Bear size in mind if you’re going; booking is a good idea, as there aren’t huge amounts of tables. Upstairs would be a great space for large groups. The 10 of us sat on one big table in the middle of the top floor and had it to ourselves, which meant we felt we could relax and enjoy ourselves without our noise disturbing other diners around us. First up, we were brought slices of fresh-from-the-oven focaccia bread with shakshuka hummus. Still warm, the bread was beautiful and fluffy. The hummus was packed with flavour, pairing perfectly with the bread. A perfect little welcome snack!

Vegetarian food in Birmingham

For my starter, I choose Grilled baby gem lettuce with butternut, medjool dates and ricotta. Served on a slate, this immediately looked attractive on the plate and just invited dipping into the tasty sides to the lettuce. How they got so much flavour into lettuce, I will never know, but the grilled edges added a great charred bite to the flavour, and the combination of the sweet dates and creamy cheese was perfect. I think too, this a dish you could easily recreate at home, or at least the flavour profile. I’ll be eating all my lettuce grilled, with dates and ricotta, from now on.

Vegan food in Birmingham

My main course was a pressed potato terrine, with burnt aubergine puree, charred broccoli, braised quince and a red pepper jus. Anybody who thinks vegetarian food is boring needs to look at this. It was so colourful, and beautifully laid out on the plate. The flavours of the sweet quince and red pepper were balanced out by the almost peppery puree and the charred broccoli. The terrine itself was light (amazing for a dish made out of so much potato) and crisp. I was concerned it might be too stodgy, but it wasn’t at all. The combination of flavours was truly wonderful; a lot of salt and sweet happening, a combo I always love. This dish is also vegan, and totally gluten free.

Deserts in Birmingham

To finish off, I went for a Chocolate Brownie, with dehydrated chocolate mousse, white chocolate powder and soaked red wine blackberries. The brownie was perfection, really gooey, which is exactly how I like them to be. It was rich, but the slim size of the slice stopped it from becoming too over powering, and the sharpness of the blackberry helped cut through the richness. The dehydrated mousse was interesting; I wasn’t sure what would come out on the plate, but it looked so striking, and was crisp and not too sweet.

Gluten free dining in Birmingham

Everything we ate looked absolutely beautiful. It was one of those dinners where no matter how delicious your own meal is, you still gaze longingly at what everyone else is eating! It was all so colourful, and it was clear seasonal, fresh ingredients were being used. This is a Coconut malabi, with apple rice donuts and caramelized pear (from the desert menu), and a starter of  sage and lentil croquettes, carrot puree, pear and winter leaves.

Now, I’m not a vegetarian, but I would highly recommend 1847 to anybody who loves food, meat-eater or not. There wasn’t a single misstep on the menu, and it was great to see so many vegan and gluten free choices too. They have an extensive wine list and cocktail menu, and knowledgable friendly staff. The atmosphere was so relaxed. I can see this spot being perfect for large groups like us to sit upstairs, or great for date night sitting at the small tables downstairs. The chilled out feel hit us all, and it felt much more like a dinner with friends than a blogger event. I’ll be back, 1847!

Friday Round Up

Links, loves and Instagrams from the last week. And the weekly vlog.

Friday Round Up

Digbeth  – I have a real soft spot for Digbeth. I worked there for quite a while and it has a charm I can’t really pinpoint. I love the hidden gems of Digbeth. There are some truly amazing bars, cafes and restaurants that appear out of nowhere out of the industrial units, and the street art is stunning. Dave and I went for brunch at Fazeley Social, and had a walk to check out the graffiti. In true Digbeth style, we bumped into several friends almost instantly. Another part of that Digbeth charm…

MCM – Obviously, last weekend was MCM London. There’s lot of cosplay in the vlog, but it was one of my favourite cons for a long time. Staying so close made so much difference. I was so chilled all weekend, enjoyed my costumes and my shoots and bought some great stuff. We had dinner with friends, rode the Skyline and saw Doctor Strange. AND, I finally met Gone Rogue Cosplay.

Great British Shake Off – On Tuesday, I put my #BrumHour hat on and headed to Cafe Opus for the Mega Shake Off. I created a milkshake with vanilla, espresso, caramel and hazelnut, and it turns out this milkshake, named George’s Marvellous Milkshake, does bring all the boys to the yard, because I only went and won. You can now buy George’s Marvellous Milkshake at Cafe Opus.

This week’s links:
Brexit in tatters.
Old school SEO you should forget.
Q&A with me.
Geeky Brummie Halloween Special.
Great British Bake Off anger.

Ask Me Anything

Black Canary Cosplay

Photographer: Sandy Smith Photography

I shot a Q&A video while I was away at MCM. Get a look at my Black Canary costume in action and hear me answer questions about going professional in cosplay, photographers and cosplay confidence.

This entry was posted in Cosplay.

Friday Round Up

Links, loves and Instagrams from the last week.

Friday Round Up

Young Kings – On Friday, me and some friends took ourselves off to Nuvo for the launch of Young Kings. Young Kings is a new fashion brand based in Birmingham, with a clothing line designed to bridge the gap between culture and fashion. The line is simple, but clearly incredibly cool, with clean lines and simple logos. We saw the current line, as well as some brand new additions. The new shirts that are about to hit are fantastic, and beautifully cut. The two founders are great guys too. I do like a home-grown brand!

Cadbury World  – Mum and I decided to be big kids and went to visit Cadbury World. We went years ago when I was small, but neither of us remember much about it. Cadburys is only about twenty minutes from me, so even if it is aimed at kids, it seemed like a fun day out option. We were actually very pleasantly surprised by how interesting the history part was, and we both loved the new(ish) 4D cinema. We were in there about two or three hours, including a coffee stop, so not bad for abut £15 each. One tip though, definitely go early. We booked the first session, and it was easy to look at everything, but as we left, the queues were absolutely hideous, and I imagine going round the tour is pretty bad.

Glamoween – I spent the evening in the beauty department at Debenhams in the Bullring for #DebsGlamoween. We spent some time with Make Up For Ever, Illamasqua and Urban Decay. Make Up For Ever was by far my favourite; their staff have been creating some really awesome looks, including Suicide Squad Harley Quinn, skulls and broken porcelain dolls. I hadn’t realsied they sell special effects makeup all year round. Their range, which includes fake blood, tooth paint and bruise palettes, is all under £20, which is really great value. Good to know for future costumes. Illamasqua talked to us about their partnership with the Sophie Lancaster Foundation. Illamasqua have created a range called S.O.P.H.I.E, the proceeds of which go back to the foundation. Urban Decay have gone all Mean Girls for the season with their look , ‘I’m a mouse, duh.’ For Halloween, they’re showing customers how to put together a look you can do quickly and head straight out from the office. It was a great fun evening, and I will be back at Make Up For Ever for costume makeup ideas soon, for sure.

This week’s links:
Listen to Geeky Brummie.
Was Mark Hamill dressed as the Joker?
Blurt’s tips for SAD.
Support Brum Radio.