Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Style Post: Am I A Style Blogger Now?

Here lately, I’ve had a few people on my Instagram mention that they’d like to see some outfit posts. I’ve always had a passion for style and have long envied style bloggers. I just never thought that I could do that. See, it’s only very recently that I’ve begun to feel truly confident and comfortable in my own plus size skin. A year ago, the thought that of posting a full body shot would have terrified me. The again, the thought of wearing half the stuff I wear now would have terrified me. These days, im feeling pretty confident and sassy. But because I’ve spent basically the last two decades trying to not be photographed from the chest down, I have no idea to properly pose for a full body shy, let alone how to pull off those “I just happen to be standing around looking really nonchalant and cool all the time” poses that style bloggers do so well. But, in the spirit of confidence and adventure, I thought “well f*%k it, let’s do it anyway.”  So here’s the first few attempts from recent weeks. 

A couple of weeks ago, artfully posing at the gas station while people started at me like a weirdo. Apparently holding your own photo shoot at the gas pump is still a fairly novel idea. Outfit details: Hat and fishnets on Amazon.com. Sunglasses from Zenni Optical. Cut off shorts and shirt are DIY that I’ve had for ages.
From Thursday, heading out to host karaoke. I was going with a  kind of closet Harley Quinn cosplay. I was clearly uncertain as to what to do with my hands. I was most nervous about posting this one because I’m still learning to be comfortable showing my midriff and this is definitely not the most flattering pose I could have mustered up. But I was running behind and I only got one shot in, so EFF IT, right? Outfit details: Swuad Harlot shirt from Spirit Halloween, purse from Killstar

Friday’s look. Continuing the casual cosplay, because why the hell not, I went for a Catwoman look. I was definitely feeling myself in this. Still not sure what to do with my hands though obviously. Outfit details: Top and skirt, Forever 21. Shoes are the Amazon creepers I DIY’d a few posts back. Shorty shorts are ancient so who knows?

All in all, I’m feeling really good about these and I’m really looking forward to doing more style posts. What do you think, batty babes? Do you want to see more? Let me know in the comments below! 

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Style Post: Bat Wallet!

YOU GUYS! I cannot believe I didn't make a post here sooner. I've been slipping on posting to the blog, but I promise to make a much more regular posting schedule. If you're on my Instagram, Facebook profile or Twitter though, you've definitely already seen my excitement! Last month my Black Friday by Avelina De Moray bat wallet arrived and IT IS PERFECT. I could not have dreamt up a more perfect wallet. From the bat wing, to the touch of velvet to the blood red velvet interior, it is a dream.

Look at that shiny bat wing! 

The cross detail on the zipper is perfect.

Look at that interior!

Isn't it gorgeous? Let me know what you think in the comments below!

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Makeup Round-up: Pride Edition

Hey batty babes! Time for a new feature on the blog, my weekly makeup round-up. I'll be posting a weekly overview of the makeup looks I've done, including product details.

I must admit, I've been a bit lazy lately so for the past couple of weeks I've only really done my makeup for my night job hosting karaoke. Still, I had fun with my looks this past weekend!

Thursday I finally did a Pride look in celebration of Pride Month! Eyes and brows were Spoiled Lips Glamour Ghoul palette and NYX Comsetics glitter on eyes and brows, Pretty Zombie Cosmetics lip color in Black Cat and topped with Limecrime's Black Unicorn Diamond Crushers.

Friday night's look was all about PINK with a hint of darkness. I again used the Spoiled Lips Glamour Ghoul palette on eyes and brows, Pretty Zombie Cosmetics lip color in Black Cat and topped with a glitter from Holy Glitter.

Saturday night, to finish out Pride month, I did a pan pride look. Eyes were again Spoiled Lips Glamour Ghoul palette, with NYX glitter.  

As you can see, right now the Spoiled Lips palette is my go-to palette for bright, colorful looks! What's your favorite palette when you need vivid color? Let me know in the comments below!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The Taphophiles: An Introduction

Hey guys and welcome to the first in a newseries I'll be sharing from time to time, the Taphophiles! (Get it? Files, 'philes? Yay bad puns!) So, what is a taphophile? It's someone who has a passion for and enjoys cemeteries, gravestones, tombs, and the history and art associated with them.

For as long as I can recall, I've been a proud taphophile. As a kid, I loved to stop at cemeteries while on road trips with my family and stroll through the rows of headstones. My grandmother is a cemetery enthusiast too, so on road trips, we would both sit up and excitedly call out "cemetery!" as we passed one by. And while my parents may not be as into cemeteries as I am, they do find them really interesting. We still enjoy family outings to the cemeteries in our area.

When people find out about my love for cemeteries, they kind of laugh and nod. After all, I have a unique look and everyone who knows me, knows of my love for all things "creepy." But the world is full of taphophiles, most of whom don't look any particular way or necessarily like anything else considered "spooky." So then, what is it about cemeteries that many captures the attention of so many? For a lot of people, the gravestones, tombs and monuments themselves are the interesting part. Both art and architecture, these structures are often really beautiful and it's interesting to see how the styles have changed over time. For some, it's stepping into the unknown, a certain sense of the mysterious. For many though, it's just enjoying some quiet time in nature.

The idea of enjoying a leisurely stroll through a cemetery may seem strange to us now, but cemeteries were actually America's first city parks. As small church cemeteries in inner cities became overcrowded, a condition that caused remains to wash up during times of flooding (which was unsanitary and probably a bitch to clean up), the need for a solution became clear. Thus, Mount Auburn Cemetery in Massachusetts became the first "garden cemetery", combining lush gardens and landscaping, beautiful monuments, and a resting place for the dead into one location that became a popular destination for outdoor gatherings like picnics. Of course, it wasn't long before developers took everything that made these garden cemeteries beautiful, except for the graves themselves, and city parks as we know them today were born. Of course, this was not the only change that affected cemeteries. As our very attitude towards death began to change, and the burial process became less ritualized and more sterile, so too did our cemeteries. No longer considered a place to gather and enjoy nature, new cemeteries were relegated to the outskirts of towns and cities where they were all but completely avoided aside from funerals and people visiting the graves of their loved ones. Where once it was common to see children playing games and people enjoying a meal on the grass among the headstones, these days such activities would seem strange to many.

Thankfully though, attitudes are slowly changing. Many cemeteries these days offer yoga classes, including Philadelphia's Laurel Hill, one of the original garden cemeteries. Green-Wood in Brooklyn, another of the first garden cemeteries, holds movie screenings as well as the Death Cafe - an event where people gather to enjoy cake and discuss death.  Definitely sounds like it's time for me to book a trip to Brooklyn!

The resurgence of cemeteries as a place to spend time and enjoy oneself makes me happy. As a taphophile, I want to see our cemeteries preserved and enjoyed instead of being feared. There is so much history in these places. I love to walk among the graves, reading the names and dates of the people buried there. I imagine what their lives might have been like. It brings a sense of connection to our collective past. It allows me to reflect on my own life and to consider what truly matters to me as a person, to consider what legacy I want to leave behind.

I definitely need a new cemetery adventure soon, but for now, here'sa few of my favorite pics from past trips!

Taken in Saint Louis Cemetery No. 1, New Orleans, LA, 2010. The scarf was already exactly like this when I found this grave. I edited the photo because the bright sunlight took away from what otherwise felt, to me, a really cool classic horror movie look.

Lockehill Cemetery, San Antonio, TX, 2014. This is the cemetery not far from my house. Small but interesting little cemetery. On my last visit, I was intrigued to find a teddy bear on a grave that was nearly 100 years old at the time.

Leesville Cemetery, Leesville, TX, 2015. Part of my family hails from this small town with a population of about 150. Every October, the Leesville Country Fair is held, with proceeds benefiting the Leesville Cemetery.

Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Helotes, TX, 2016. This is a cemetery just a few miles from my house. I was intrigued by this grave because we share the same first name and she died on December 7, 1980 - exactly one year before I was born on December 7, 1981. I didn't edit this photo. The rainbow appeared over her grave while I was kneeling there.

So what about you guys? Do you consider yourself a taphophile? If so, what is it about cemeteries that you love? If you've never been interested in cemeteries, or thought they were creepy, has this inspired you to check out a cemetery with a new perspective? Let me know in the comments below!

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Review: Twisted Wonderland Perfumery

So, I'm super excited because today I'm reviewing my recent purchases from Twisted Wonderland Perfumery! I first came across this company last year on Instagram and ordered a soap which smelled absolutely amazing. So recently, while sipping some wine and doing a little shopping online, I decided it was time to place another order! Twisted Wonderland Perfumery is cruelty-free and, with the exception of their lip balms (which contain beeswax), all of their products are vegan.

Description: The Freddy coffin soap is "Never Sleep Again" scented, so I chose the same scent for the Sugar Scrub. From the website: "'9, 10, Never Sleep Again' This scent is sure to keep you up at night! Delicious rich strong coffee splashed with a tiny bit of vanilla bean and dark chocolate." 
Price: $8.00 USD for the soap, $8.50 USD for the scrub
Packaging: Everything came packed in a cute little black organza bag. The labeling carries Twisted Wonderland Perfumery's Alice in Wonderland Theme so it’s super cute. The label for the scrub incorporates Freddy's claws which is such a perfect little detail for a horror fan like myself.
Scent: As soon as I unwrapped the soap from its plastic, I could smell the coffee and chocolate. Mmm! Once in the shower with both the soap and the scrub, the scent filled my shower for a delicious shower time experience. I couldn't really pick out the vanilla specifically, rather just an extra sweetness to keep the coffee and dark chocolate from being bitter.
Performance: The soap does just what you'd expect - it lathers up and gets you clean. The scrub exfoliates while leaving you moisturized. I stepped out of the shower feeling clean and smelling like dessert!
Overall: Together, these two provided a flawless shower victory! And did I mention the sparkles in the sugar scrub?! Subtle so that they don't leave you covered in glitter, but it's a fun little detail that makes me love this scrub even more.
Score: 5/5 (or should I say "5, 6...")

Look at those sparkles!

And now, for the item I was most excited about... 
Ok first let me say this. I gave Rae, the creator of these lovely scents, an insane list to work into one cohesive scent. I did mention I'd been drinking wine when I placed my order, right? But in my defense, look at all of these delightful notes!
Description: I placed my order for a custom eau de parfum, with the following (potentially borderline obnoxious) note: "Coffee, dark chocolate, pumpkin hallow and vanilla bourbon base with candy corn and hints of early grey, cherry pipe tobacco and champagne and a slight hint of fireplace/smoke."
Price: $16.00 USD
Packaging: It comes in a convenient spray bottle.
Scent: Just sniffing the bottle, chocolate and cherry jump out first. A second sniff reveals the smoke notes with a hint of champagne. On my skin, it's a similar experience initially - chocolate and cherry on the first sniff, this time with coffee. The second sniff brings out the smoke and champagne again. There's a sweetness other than the cherry, something warmer, which could be the pumpkin, candy corn or bourbon. I rub my wrists together to warm it and now all of the notes blend into something really unique - sweet but not cloying, warm but with a hint of brightness, smokey but not overpoweringly so. I check back throughout the evening, each time having a slightly different experience. I do find that the cherry note is always apparent, which I love.
Since I applied this a bit after my shower, I ended up falling asleep with the scent still on. I woke up to find lingering notes of cherry, chocolate and coffee still there. It was like breakfast for my nose!
Performance: The scent lasts for hours and smells SO GOOD the entire time.
Overall: I'm madly in love with this! Like, over the moon about it. Seriously, it smells so good I can't get over it. I told my mom, "I think this is what my soul smells like." I have never loved a fragrance more in my entire life. I threw a pretty lengthy list out there, and Twisted Wonderland Perfumery absolutely delivered! I cannot recommend this experience enough. If you've ever wanted your own personal scent, you definitely need to order one from Rae at Twisted Wonderland Perfumery! I will definitely be ordering more custom scents as well as Twisted Wonderland Perfumery's own blends.
Score: Can I give this like, a 10 out of 5? Wait, it's my blog, of course I can! 

Have you tried anything from Twisted Wonderland Perfumery? Have you made your own custom scent before and if so, what notes did you use? If you haven't, what notes would you use to make your own signature scent? Let me know in the comments below!

Disclaimer: This review was not sponsored or paid for in any way. All products were purchased by me. My opinions will always be 100% my own.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Review: Sudsatorium

Hey batty babes and welcome to my fist review! Today we'll be taking a look at some items from Sudsatorium, an indie beauty brand out of Canada crafting vegan, cruelty-free, ethically-sourced organic cosmetics. Not only that, they're committed to reducing their carbon footprint, reducing waste, and supporting charities with a percentage of all proceeds! 

Now, this isn't my first time trying natural hair care products. I've tried a number of brands and even some DIY recipes. But every time, my hair is left oily, weighed down, dry, frizzy, tangled, unmanageable, or some combination of the above. So did Sudsatorium right the wrongs of natural hair care past? Let's find out!

A Brewed Awakening Shampoo and Java Conditioner
Sudsatorium's Descriptions:
Their Etsy shop has the following description for the shampoo. "Seriously intense caffeinated Colombian coffee with a kick of brightening lime and tangerine. For those who’ve dreamt of bathing in chocolate, you’ll love our fresh cocoa and hibiscus infusion with hemp oil to give your hair luscious smoothness and gloss." For the conditioner, the following appears in the product description. "Stimulate your scalp and senses with a shot of revitalizing coffee, toning lime and cleansing tangerine. Chocoholics will think they’ve died and gone to heaven conditioning their locks in fair trade chocolate and cocoa butter for added body and gloss."
Price: about $20.86 USD for 250ml each. They come in 3 sizes. (I say "about" because the set price is CAD, so USD may fluctuate according to conversion rate.)
Packaging: Not only are the bottles made from recycled material, which is good for the environment, but the black labeling is aesthetically pleasing because, well, BLACK!
Scent: The shampoo smells SO GOOD! Who doesn't want to be wrapped in chocolate and coffee? The hint of lime adds just a touch of the exotic to it. It's a perfect scent that doesn't overpower. I have to say that the conditioner falls just a little short for me. It's not unpleasant, there's just something about it that makes it less enjoyable than the shampoo. I think it may be the cocoa butter overpowering the other scents. Still, the shampoo and conditioner combined leave my hair smelling great.
Consistency: Success! Thin enough to apply easily without forcing you to use more product than necessary, thick enough not to be watery.
Performance: Both products apply easily and rinse cleanly. The shampoo provides more suds than any other sulfate-free shampoo I've tried, much to the delight of my inner child ('who's pretty much the one in charge). The results? This combination left my processed hair softer and shinier than it's been in a long time. Even more amazing is how manageable it left my unruly mane. Typically the day after washing, my hair is out-of-control. Not with this combination! The next day I woke up and my hair was actually doing what I wanted it to. Insane!
Overall: I think it's clear that I'm smitten with these two. I know the price may seem a bit high to some. But for a product I adore, that perfectly suits my needs, exceeds my expectations and also aligns with my values? Definitely a Holy Grail product in my book.
Score: 5/5

Back in Black Deodorant
Sudsatorium's Description:
"When it comes to deodorants, once you go black, you'll never go back. A hardworking deodorant for hardworking bodies, bamboo charcoal and Australian volcanic clay rein in perspiration by absorbing it. A funk-fighting menage of rosalina, honey myrtle and rose absolute will make you smell nice too. Oh, and don't worry, it won't leave any black streaks on your pristine white shirt either." 
Price: About $20.02 USD
Packaging: Recycled material and a cool black label win again!
Scent: This has a light floral and citrus scent with a hint of sweetness. Not overpowering, perfect for a deodorant.
Consistency: I've tried a number of natural deodorant's and have found most of those that come in stick form to have a wet, gel-like feeling that I hate. This goes on feeling clean and fairly dry.
Performance: This product works better than any other natural deodorant I've tried and better than some standard deodorants. The only other natural deodorant that even came close to being this effective was a messy paste that irritated my armpits. This leaves me dry and smelling fresh without the mess or irritation. 
Overall: Once again, great success! Sudsatorium exceeds my expectations with a high performance, natural product. Plus, BLACK DEODORANT.
Score: 5/5

So obviously I'm totally in love with Sudsatorium now and cannot wait to try more from them. If you've been in search of cruelty-free, vegan, sustainable, organic, fair trade, natural products, definitely check them out. 

Have you tried them before? What did you think? What other natural products and brands do you love? Let me know in the comments below!

Disclaimer: This review was not sponsored or paid for in any way. All products were purchased by me. My opinions will always be 100% my own.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

DIY: Bat Bow Creepers

When it comes to DIY, I almost never have a solid plan. I basically just jump in. This means there's usually a fifty-fifty chance of things turning out really awesome, or really awful. Luckily for me, these turned out well.

I saw this pair of Mary Jane creepers for around $19 and though the I didn't love the bow, I figured I could probably remove them easily enough. For the price, I couldn't pass them up.

Once I got them, it looked like removing the bow would leave too large a scar on the shoes. I wasn't sure what to do with them, but after staring at them for a few moments, it became clear. BAT BOWS! So I grabbed some scissors and a few snips later, voila!

It's amazing what a slight change in shape can accomplish. Now I have the cutest bat creepers ever. As a bonus, these shoes are incredibly comfortable! They seem to be sold out currently, but here's the link to purchase them when they're available again.