How to avoid heartbreak if your cosplay includes a weapon or prop!

Published February 23, 2019 by Ellie
The family that cosplays together…

I’ve been to a LOT of conventions, with my family, in various cosplays over the last 7 years, if you follow any of us on the Instant Grams you’ll know this. We’ve read each con guide, worked to abide by it, but still been caught out and had to surrender awesome props that really MADE our costume. Here are some tips for minimising your own chances of heartbreak, whether you’re still deciding on a cosplay, or you’re stood in line for security outside the ballroom and getting nervous about your portal device…

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Podcasts: Current Events

Published January 27, 2019 by Ellie

If you only read one of my million podcast articles, it really ought to be this one. While I do like to be well informed I have a very average attention span, which is to say a fairly minimal attention span. Of these 3 podcasts only two are daily and only weekdays, no public holidays. One of them is only 10 minutes long so you have no excuses. Read the rest of this entry →

One of these podcasts will change your life.

Published January 27, 2019 by Ellie

Quick links to the good stuff: Business, Conversations, Current events, [Coming soon: Documentaries, Interviews, Media, and Relationships.]

People often recommend podcasts to you, I’m sure, probably several of those people are me, and I’m sorry for being a nuisance. I’m pretty picky about podcasts, and I know your tastes differ to mine, so generally I’m only recommending specific episodes of pod that I think you’d like for a particular reason. With that in mind I decided to write up the podcasts I enjoy most to make it easier to share ones I think you’ll enjoy too.

I listen to a LOT of podcasts, some might say too many, but they would be wrong. According to my pod catcher (Pocket Casts) I’m currently subscribed to 63, however several are either very short, very sporadic, or currently on hiatus, which is one reason why I’m not about to make you read a list of 63 podcast titles. I’ve also divided them roughly by genre, so if, for example, you’d like to avoid podcasts about starting your own business, you can skip those. Like a fool…

Genres/categories I’ve chosen are pretty loose and some podcasts don’t fit in neat categories, so apologies in advance. They include things like current events, media, documentaries, and conversations. The biggest section is “documentaries’, it turns out I listen to a LOT of non-fiction.

Spoiler alert: here’s a list of the podcasts I’m telling you about in case you can’t face clicking on any links:

Adam Ruins Everything, Armchair Expert, The Bechdel Cast, Committed, Conversations With People Who Hate me, The Cryptid Factor, The Daily Zeitgeist, The Documentary, The Dream, Gastropod, The Greatest Discovery, The Greatest Generation, The Hilarious World of Depression, Hollywood Babble-On, ID10T, Invisibilia, Judge John Hodgman, Kicking and Screaming, Oh No Ross and Carrie, Pod Save America, Sawbones, Side Hustle Pro, Side Hustle School, the Side Hustle Show, The Sporkful, The Station Wagon, Tested, Stuff Mom Never Told You, Stuff They Don’t Want You to Know, Stuff You Should Know, Switchblade Sisters, TED Radio Hour, TED Talks Daily, This American Life, The Tim Ferriss Show, Unladylike, Up First, Where Shoud We Begin, WTF, and Yo Is This Racist.

And in case you’re one of the hosts of these wonderful shows, I know it’s helpful to leave reviews on iTunes, but I’m on Android and I can’t, so I’m hoping that these articles go some way towards helping! That and all the toothbrushes, underwear, bedsheets, meal kits, stamps, mattresses, job vacancies, and audio books I buy.

Please feel free to come and find me on the social medias to tell me if you’re already a listener to any of these pods! And please let me know if there’s a pod you enjoy that I haven’t listed, I really love pod!

Business – These are very motivating and practical podcasts giving advice on starting or improving your own business or side-hustle. They cover a lot of different aspects, and have advice for something as simple as a home-based craft business, right up to building a large corporation.

Conversations – This was a tricky section to figure out, these podcasts are mostly small groups of friends or colleagues (often celebrities), usually talking around a particular topic and having a fairly fluid structure.

Current events – These are among my very favourite podcasts because they help me stay informed and up to date with news and politics.

Coming soon:

Documentaries – This one is a very big section but has some of my very favourite podcasts because I do love a nice deep dive into a nerdy topic, or debunking of myths, or celebration of achievement!

Interviews – Yes a lot of these are celebrity interviews, but some are fascinating interviews with experts on particular topics.

Media – Mostly podcasts reviewing and analysing movies and TV shows, some through a specific lens, others just re-watching old shows with affection and gentle teasing!

Relationships – This is an interesting topic and not just romantic relationships: some are couples therapy sessions, others are like listening in to a really good argument in a public place.

On reacting to big decisions

Published August 15, 2018 by Ellie

Eight years ago I wrote a Facebook status announcing that we were seriously considering a move to America. It got a lot of comments, as you’d expect, but not ONE of those comments was positive: not about our intent, our future prospects, or about America.

Some of the people who commented are not currently a part of our life, in large part due to their determination to share that toxic negativity far and wide. It’s exhausting. Other people who commented have since taken big risks to follow their own dreams, and I’m so proud of them.

People worry so much about their plans and dreams, they know the risks, they know the down sides. Trust that this person you love has thought it through carefully, even (especially?) if it’s something they know is scary and painful for you. It doesn’t mean they don’t know or care, it means that it really is that important to them.

And yes, I’m aware that America seems to suck more now than eight years ago, but that’s why it’s good we’re here, to help.

School finishes WHEN?! 13 quick and easy knits for the teachers helping raise your children!

Published May 29, 2018 by Ellie

I do the same every year: it’s January and I’m keeping up with lost hats, scarves, and gloves, I wake up and it’s the end of May. In our school district we have two weeks of regular Middle School left before study leave and finals. Add to that orchestra concerts, end of year month-long project completions, field day, graduation ceremonies and parties, and obviously my very last shred of sanity, and we have a few weeks of clinging on to my Google calendar for dear life, yet still missing key events.

“Isn’t your math state field test tomorrow?” I ask over dinner, excited by the feeling of my head temporarily being above water.
“No, it was yesterday.”

Excellent. A+ for this semester, Mama.

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