My Top 5 Shakespeare Plays

My Top 5 Shakespeare Plays


Shakespeare’s a very particular style that not everyone likes. But, I am a strong believer that the right Shakespeare play may just swing you over into the Bard club. If you’ve not really read Shakespeare before, or you would like to try out his work a-new, see below my recommendations for plays.

These are my favourite Shakespeare plays, and there’s honestly something here for everyone. (You’ll notice I’ve also not included one play in particular. My reasons for this at the end)


  1. As You Like It.

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There’s a reason this play is my favourite Shakespeare play of all time. It’s witty, it’s easy to understand and follow, and there are some fantastic reflections and comedy in this play. I’ve been in this play as an actor (Duke Senior, say what), and I’ve also studied this play for my HSC. I still remember large swaths of the lines (most that weren’t mine). It’s a pastoral play (meaning it takes place in the country and idealises country living) which deals with some interesting situations. With a main character who cross dresses for a majority of the play for “protection”, the antics are funny and ridiculous; everyone is trying to protect their identity as all fear the same person.

2. A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Image result for a midsummer night's dreamIf you want to go on the biggest trip you’ve ever been on (in a safe, family way), then this is the play for you. It is on the longer side, as it does deal with multiple characters and story-lines at once. This play’s had several adaptions to screen, so if you don’t feel like reading you can get your netflix and chill on. With talking donkeys that used to be actors, the king and queen of the faeries, a bunch of young people in a love quadrangle and a whole range of bizarre side characters, this ones worth it for the laughs and bants.

3. Taming of the Shrew

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One of the most underrated plays of the bunch. The banter and sass in this play is AMAZING, with some of the sickest roasting you’ve ever seen. You’ll see a lot of yourself, and people you know in these characters, and it’s hard not to get invested in the two major story-lines. I am slightly biased again, I’ve been in this play as an actor (Senior Gremio. The most fun I’ve ever had making a character) but most English teachers love this as well. The dramatic techniques present are beautiful, and while a much smaller cast than some of the other Shakespeare plays, this one will capture you. Even non-Shakespeare inclined friends really like this one. Think Pride and Prejudice mixed with Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (weird combo but trust me).

4. Macbeth


The dark Emo one of the bunch, Macbeth holds such a special place in my heart. I love the grim scottishness of this play. Multiple people go mad/round the twist. There’s so much intrigue it’s basically Season 1 of Game of Thrones. There are prophecies and witches, rebellions and murder. There’s something in this play for everyone. I was lucky enough in 2018 to see this live in a theater in the round (they built a pop-up ‘globe’ that was in Sydney for a few months) and it was some of the best theater I’ve ever seen.

5. Hamlet


It’s hard to put Hamlet down as a short, sharp description. Hamlet I think is the most elegantly written of the bunch. The punchy dialogue, the great mental trouble the main character goes through, the death, the drama. It’s like house of cards and game of thrones had a baby, and then killed it. It also has two side characters who deserved better and are two of my favs (Rozencratz and Gilderstien deserved more!). Plus don’t you want to understand where that all to oft repeated quote comes from?


So where’s the play that shall remain nameless? I’ll tell you where, in the trash bin where it belongs. Dirty, filthy Verona with it’s teenage marriage and stupid plot. I hates it. But that’s a blog post for another time


So, it’s been a while…

So, it’s been a while…

Where have I been?

Everywhere and nowhere in particular

Last year, if you have looked at my blog posts in enough detail, you would have noticed a distinct drop from the beginning of 2017, until the end. 2018 has been a worse track record for me blog wise. There are multiple reasons for this, and i’m hoping that as of now- the end of August 2018- these reasons now do not apply.

First things first; I had one of the worst cases of writers block I’ve ever experienced.

I can’t tell you how many draft posts I started and never finished; I’d just abruptly run out of steam and become unable to put my thoughts into words. My writing ability was just frozen, like a computer stuck on some faulty code, endlessly buffering and getting nowhere.

I’ve still been reading- I’ve been reading a lot, I just haven’t been able to write reviews.

Second reason; 2017 was a rough year for me- emotionally and mentally. My life changed abruptly in early 2017- mostly of my own doing. I woke up one day and went, oh crap, who am I? This isn’t me. What’s happened? So I forcibly tore apart the world I had created for myself over the last few years. Because that world had poisoned me. I spent the rest of 2017 sucking the venom out if you will; purging, re-hashing, refocusing.

2018 has been about refining. Strengthening. Growing.

I cant really put into words the progress I’ve made over the last one and half years, but it’s been immense. I’m in a better place emotionally than I have been for a long time. Same with my physical health; I’ve not been this fit and confident since I left high school.

I’m not at all my goals, but I’ve met and passed quite a few already. There’s still a considerable way to go.

One of my goals this year, has to go back and explore what i’m passionate about. And writing whether it be blog posts or stories, has always been a passion. I’m hoping to get back into it.

It’s not going to be easy- I’m going to try and find new habits and new types of writing that best suit me. I’m going to ask for your patience here.

There are many other reasons and excuses; if you are human and engage in the adult world, i’m sure you could work out fairly easily what’s been detaining me.

But, in the spirit of honesty, I’ll admit, I was heavily procrastinating.

So here’s to a new beginning. Both here on this blog, and personally.

The content is going to change slightly- don’t worry though, i’m sure there will still be book reviews.

I guess i’m just expanding.

Thanks for hanging in there with me.


Goals reached so far in 2018;

Weight lost; 10+kgs
Down: two sizes in pants
Friends: Lots of new, and reconnected with several old friends
Books read: 26
Cast member of; One Musical- Rock of Ages.
Greatest Challenge; The Golden Stairs bush walk in the Blue Mountains
Countries Visited; 1- Fiji

Things I am looking forward to in the rest of 2018; Pay rise at work, Oz Comic Con Sydney September 2018, Panic at the Disco concert Sydney October 6, and Harry Potter Trivia this weekend.

Things I am looking forward to in 2019; Florence + the Machine Concert Sydney January 26, My Best friends wedding July 2019 (Maid of Honor), A overseas holiday (destination still unknown), and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child- Melbourne- October 2019


My Life in Books Tag

My Life in Books Tag

1. Find a book for each of your initials

A is for…


L is for….


and W is for…


2. Count your age along your bookshelf: What book is it?


This is the 24th book (I’m 24 next week so I thought I may as well round up). A banging book for what I hope is a banging year

3. Pick a book set in your city/country


I’ve mentioned this book before in a tag, but its such a special book (and series) to me that I have to mention it again. I’ve never read a book set in a town anywhere near mine, so I figured rural east coast Australia would do  smilelaugh.jpg

4. Pick a book that represents a destination you’d love to travel to



*coughs awkwardly*

Scotland please. Thanks Diana Gabaldon

5. Pick a book that’s your favourite colour

Midnight Jewel

I love red. Also adore blue, but this is just a stunning cover.

6. Which book do you have the fondest memories of?


This was a staple of my younger years; my mum read this to me at least once a week when I was a kid. I adored it, and my mum especially adored it! This book brings up all the warm fuzzies, and hopefully I can read this to future progeny of my own.

7. Which book did you have the most difficulty reading?


This book was really good. Like really good… It just took me a month. A MONTH. And it was a slog. Diana’s work is fantastic, but SOOOOOOOOOOOO long and so detailed. Each line is dense with both story and importance; its not a light read at all. The drama that happened in this book was quite frankly ridiculous… but so good. Gabaldon is a queen, but i’d really appreciate it if she made her work easier to read.

8. Which book in your TBR pile will give you the biggest accomplishment when you finish it?


This book has honestly sat on my shelf taunting me for 6 years. Every time I go to pick it up I get really intimidated and put it back down. Everyone who has read it has assured me i’ll love it- I really fan girl hard over the TV show- and I know I will enjoy it, I just know how much hard work it is. And after Gabaldon, it’s more than a little daunting. But if I can make Gabaldon, I can definitely do Martin.



Shout out to Dreamland book blog where I found this tag. Loved reading her answers. I tag anyone who wants to give this a whirl.

My Top 10 Books of 2017

I’ve had a year this year.

2017 was a bit all over the place for me, and if you’ve noticed how quiet this blog has been in 2017, i’m sure this is obvious.

I’ve had both fantastic highs and really s$%# lows. I’ve loved and lost. I’ve had moments of crippling self doubt, and moments of great triumph where I did things I didn’t think I could do but did.

I’ve had a very insular year; I’ve spent the year focusing inward and working out what my priorities are, what I fight for, and what I don’t have time for.

Books, my ever faithful support agencies, have supported me throughout the entire roller coaster. And perhaps because I’ve had such a year, I’ve read A LOT.

In fact, I’ve read so much, I made my Goodreads goal. I DID IT!!! I READ OVER 50 BOOKS THIS YEAR!!!


My tastes have varied throughout the year, and I’ve read across multiple genres, ticked off books that have been long sitting on my TBR, consumed some hot new reads and many more. I’ve fallen in love with audiobooks, and really worked out my kindle.

I’ve actually had a pretty good run; I cant pick any bad books this year! All the ones I’ve read this year I’ve enjoyed immensely and my book pickings have been on point. So for this tag, I’m just going to focus on my ten faves this year. Which has been so hard to choose!!!

Top 10 of 2017


An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

Goodreads   ||  Review (kinda)

I had been trying to get a copy of this to read forever, and it took me until this year to get a copy. What an intense adventure. I was sucked in from the beginning, and loved the sequel almost as much as this first one. This whole world is riveting and the heavy drawings on the Roman Gladiators just did it for me. (Major History buff here).



Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Goodreads   ||    Review (Kinda)

This book is a game changer. I can guarantee you that this is the most unique book you have ever read. Everyone I have recommended this too loves it as much as I do. It’s told in such a unique way, the story keeps you on tenterhooks the entire time, and the sequel is so kick ass and just works perfectly with this one. GET YOU THIS BOOK AND MAKE SURE YOU READ THIS! You can thank me later



Rook by Sharon Cameron

Goodreads || Amazon

I knew this book was going to be good when I brought it. Its bloody amazing. Another wild ride where you’re on pins and needles for the whole read. If you like history with a dystopian twist, this is for you. This is a true adventure book set in Dystopian England and Paris. MC is witty and strong and you cannot help but love her.


A Court of Wings and Ruin

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J Maas (Book 3 in ACOTR series)

Goodreads   ||   Amazon

God Damn what a good third book. If you’ve read my reviews for the first two books in this series, you’ll know how much I love it. This book did not dissapoint. This book took all the delicious momentum and character development from the second half of book 2 and just kicked it up into overdrive. I honestly am in love with Sarah Maas and she stole my heart again with this book.


A Gentlemans Guide to Vice and Virtue

The Gentlemans Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

Goodreads   ||  Amazon

I listened to this book on audiobook and thoroughly recommend listening to this one (Voiced by the actor who played Tom Riddle delish). This is another history adventure, and is an absolute lark. The main character is un-apologetically deplorable but I adored him. This is a very well done story with a queer main character who gets himself, his best friend Monty, and his sass queen of a sister into all manners of trouble.


Rivers of London.jpg

Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch (and the whole damn Peter Grant series)

Goodreads  ||   Amazon 

I fell in love with this whole series this year, and read all the currently published books in it! I listened to them via audiobook and had heart eyes the whole time (Kobna Holdbrook-Smith is a god and should narrate every audiobook ever. His performances are incredible). This series is what happens when an excellent mystery, cop-procedural series has a baby with a fantasy book. With cops that are also wizards, ghosts, river spirits and all manner of other magical creatures running amok in London, this series is going to grab hold of you and not let you go. I could talk for hours about how much I loved this series, and how much i’m dying waiting for the next instalment due in 2018.


Turtles All the Way Down

Turtles all the Way Down by John Green

Goodreads  ||  Amazon

There is a reason everyone has been hyping this book. It’s incredible. John Green can sometimes be a bit hit or miss;- some books of his I adore i.e. the Fault in Our Stars and Paper Towns, and others not so much (i’m looking at you ‘Looking for Alaska’). This one is so worth his hiatus. I think his writing has improved so much, and I think he’s nailed the story telling. I was utterly fascinated by his presentation of anxiety and OCD and I gathered so much more empathy and understanding from this book (I have people close to me with these conditions).


Tower of Dawn

Tower of Dawn by Sarah J Maas (Book 6 in the Throne of Glass Series)

Goodreads   ||  Amazon

She’s done it again folks! Maas has appeared on my best books list twice again! I was initially unsure about this book- it pulls away from the main story line and focuses on one of the side characters and his story while book 5 happens. I shouldn’t have been worried. This was fantastic. This story felt much more carefully written, and given how quickly it came out after book 5, I feel like Maas may have partially written this story when writing book 5. I loved hearing Chaol’s adventures, and loved meeting all the new characters.

Drums of Autumn

Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon

Goodreads    ||    Amazon 

This book was a wild ride. In order to avoid spoiling the series (this is book 4), let me tell you that this is a fantastic fourth book; it keeps all the action and build up of the third and pushes it further in a neat way. Action isn’t forced, it rolls beautifully in between some intense character development. Your heart will likely break for each character about 5 times (Diana can be mean to her characters) but the small circle of main characters are strong and prove worthy of your admiration. This book had me hooked!



Dawn Study by Maria V Snyder

Goodreads   ||    Amazon

There’s divided opinion on goodreads about this book; as always with the final book in  a series, some love it. Others not. I loved it. I thought it was neat and tidy ending to one of my fav series. It didn’t suffer from the “omg we must do everything quickly” syndrome that Snyder tends to get on penultimate books. I liked the character development and the time she took to detail changes in the heroine. I think Snyder took the time to wrap up all the plot lines in a believable way and while I would have liked more time at the end on (Spoiler item redacted), I’m satisfied with this as the end of the series.


Honourable Mentions;


Goodreads    ||    My Review


Midnight Jewel

Goodreads   ||   Amazon


Receiver of Many.jpg

Goodreads    ||    Amazon



So here’s to 2017; thank Christ its over!!

And for those curious, here’s my Goodreads goal for 2018;

2018 GOodreads Challenge

Ashleigh’s Tips for Solo Travel

Ashleigh's Tips (1)

So I recently went to Ireland by myself.

I had an absolute blast, but I have found something interesting over the past few months; whenever I tell people about my holiday. “On your own? Wow that’s so brave!” is honestly the sentence every single person uses.

This boggles my brain. Why is solo travel so weird to some people?

I’ve always been conscious of solo travellers, and have always wanted to do it. So many people I know have solo travelled, so the idea was never new to me.

Don’t get me wrong, there were moments where it was kind of intimidating to be on my own, but I loved every second of my trip away and never felt regret or scared. I’ve always been someone who thrives when alone, and I have always enjoyed my own company. I knew, before going, that I wasn’t going to get lonely. I didn’t. I loved it.

There’s nothing better than living to your own schedule- going where you want, seeing what you want to see, spending as much time as you please somewhere. Eating when and what you want. Sleeping when you want. Choosing where you want to stay. All that without having to worry about or consult with anyone else. You choose the adventure, quite literally! The freedom of going solo is more than I can describe, and I revelled in it.

I’m only fairly new to Solo travel so there are still many things I don’t know, but I thought I might pass on some tips and tricks to those yet to venture into that world so that you have a bit of leg-up in your research and planning!

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  1. Do your research for literally everything before you go. Even as small as walking routes, best restaurants, weather etc. I was pedantic about my research in Ireland and had a very smooth experience with only a few hiccups.
  2. Make sure you stay in the ‘safe’ suburbs. This is for yours, and your parents and family’s peace of mind. Especially as a solo female traveller, this is essential.
  3. Do your hotel research, especially for hostels. Be really picky with your hostels; always remember the price you pay always reflects what you’re going to get. The $30 beds are $30 for a reason (learned the hard way)
  4. Shower Shoes are essentials. Never travel without.
  5. If possible, ask for a top bunk bed in a hostel. Safety combined with practicality. And try to not get the bunk straight next to the door.
  6. If you can choose your seat on an aeroplane, go for a bulkhead or emergency row. You’ll thank me for this after 14-20 hours in the air.
  7. Pack a change of shirt in your carry on (plane/train). Long haul flights are bearable if you can change out of that sweaty, crusty shirt you’ve been in for an ungodly amount of hours. Trust me this is one of the best travel hacks I’ve learned. Armed with a pack of camping wipes (shower wipes), and some deodorant, you feel so much better when changed.
  8. Before you go, work out your sleeping hours on the plane to try and match the timezone you are travelling to. It doesn’t get rid of Jetlag, but it definitely helps a lot.
  9. Check if your destination has particular cultural customs around certain days of the week– i.e. in Dublin, nothing is open before 11am on Sundays. I didn’t know this and spent my first day in Dublin walking around confused because nothing (and I mean nothing) was open.
  10. Airport Shuttles are your best friend. The busses are usually 10 times cheaper than taxi’s/uber or the dedicated train. Most shuttles have different routes and you’re guaranteed that one will stop pretty much right at where you need to go.
  11. Take as little suitcase/luggage as you can. As a solo traveller, if you’re hauling a lot of luggage, not only is it hard for you to manage and cart around, but it also paints a massive target on your back to undesirables. Little luggage means you will spend less on things to bring home, and will make you very economical in your packing. If you’re going on day trips/short tours, this will also help you to stick close to your weight limit.
  12. Always take spare baggage locks and luggage straps. I can guarantee you’re likely to need them, even when you think you wont. You will. And you’ll curse yourself at the end of the trip trust me.
  13. Take your time packing; don’t leave it to the last minute. This allows you to think logically about what you’re packing; you wont over pack and you wont be frantically trying to clean clothes at the last minute. Also helps with tip 15.
  14. Study the weather for a while leading up to leaving; this will help you pack the right type of clothes. Be super critical and watch the weather for a number of weeks, especially in the lead up. I ended up changing out a few of my clothing choices the day before I left for Ireland because I was a bit too optimistic when originally packing. This was a good decision because I needed those extra leggings and jacket let me tell you!
  15. When packing, lay out all the clothes you intend on taking, and the go back the next day and halve it. Consolidate your clothes as much as possible. Pants can be worn a few days before washing. You don’t need as much as you think because…
  16. Wash your clothes on the road; hotel bathroom sinks are there for a reason.
  17. If a hotel offers a laundry service, use it. Sinks are good in a pinch but not practical for washing some clothes items (Aka jeans. Trust me don’t try it). And the chance of fresh laundered clothes is precious. Don’t waste it.
  18. Most hotels hold luggage if you’re too early. I’ve never been to a city/country where hotels don’t have luggage holding facilities.
  19. When booking, make sure you tell your hotel/hostel what time you are intending to arrive. If it’s still a bit up in the air until the day of, give your best estimate. Just common courtesy. Also by letting them know what time you intend on arriving, it increases the chances of your room being ready for you when you get there.
  20. Don’t carry around a big bag/backpack- try and live out of a very small shoulder bag (with cross body strap) during the day. Always keep your big bags at your accommodation. Which leads to…
  21. Be careful when carrying around big souvenir store bags/wearing souvenir clothing; this tells everyone you’re not from around there. You become more of a target for undesirables.
  22. Always remember to use your street smarts and always be over cautious.
  23. Bring a water bottle with you everywhere; staying hydrated is important.
  24. If staying in a hostel, take in other’s behaviour and match it; if everyone keeps to themselves, do so. If people are open, make friends.
  25. Do mini tours while at your destination with local tour guides/companies; they can show you things you wouldn’t have seen otherwise and you can make friends while there. (Shamrocker tours are bomb if you’re ever in Ireland.)

Above all, remember to have fun and enjoy your holiday. Rejoice that you’re brave enough to travel on your own! Not a lot of people will.

Some pictures of my Trip to Ireland are below for any curious souls 😉

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My Holiday TBR!- Ireland 2017


As I’ve begun packing for my upcoming holiday – I fly out on 1 July eep!!- one very important thing is coming with me… my Kindle. As a booklover, there was no way I was leaving the country without a few books to while away my transit hours. And due to a rather strict luggage limit on the tour I’m going on, my trusty kindle has taken one for the team.

I don’t usually do TBR’s, purely because of my hot and cold reading patterns, but Holidays are always big reading times for me. I also get a kick out of seeing what books people take with them on holiday- it says a lot about their personality style.

Here are the books i’m taking with me to Ireland;

  1. The Regional Office is Under Attack! by Manuel Gonzales 


By all reports this is a silly, slightly trashy read which is heavily inspired by genre fiction. Some hate it, some love it. The ones who love it sold me. I wanted something quick and easy to read that would amuse me on a plane ride. This seems to fit the bill. It might be stupid, but I cant wait to test it.

2. Wintersong by S Jae-Jones

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I stumbled on this one by accident as it popped up in my recommended books on goodreads. A reviewer promised heavy references to Labyrinth and that’s all they had to say! The power of the Voodoo was too much and it came into my hands quickly and easily

3. Dawn Study by Maria V Snyder


So I’ve been looking for this book in bookstores for the last few months and haven’t been able to find it. It’s the latest (and appears to be the last) book in the Chronicles of Ixia which I’ve been hooked on since 2015. When I saw it on the Amazon store I was so giddy I squealed with delight. I really hope this is as good as the rest of the series!!!

4. Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan


Buzzfeed promised me this book is hilarious. I’m hoping buzzfeed isn’t lying to me. I wanted a comedy book to balance out my reading list. I wanted a cross section of different options to read. I’m also always down to read some diverse fiction.

5. A Conjuring of Light by V E Schwab


I really enjoyed the first book- V E Schwab has magical writing abilities and, lets be honest, everything she touches is gold- and when the second book popped up in popular on Amazon, I just kinda went for it. It wouldn’t be me if I didn’t have a dystopian fiction on my list.

Top Tips for Pop Culture Conventions

Top Tips

I am by no means an expert in terms of Pop Culture Conventions; I’m a relative newbie to the Con scene, having gone to my first Con in 2013. But I was brought into the community under the very experienced wing of my Best friend who is more of a veteran. Over the last few years, I’ve very quickly learned the dos and don’ts of Cons, and I’m keen to share my knowledge for those who are looking to get into cons or are still relatively fresh on the scene.

These tips aren’t biblical, but they will sure as heck make sure you have a smooth weekend.

Before the Convention

  • Be Organised; at the beginning of the year, plan which Cons you intend to go to. Start visualising where they are in the year, how you will get there and how many cosplays you intend to do for the year.
  • Book your hotel strategically; not all conventions are in the easiest to access places- some are not near hotels or major highways, and frequently you need to stay at hotels to attend. However, you do not have to be suckered in to the absolutely ridiculously high prices of those immediately surrounding hotels (who jack up prices because they know a convention is planned). I am extremely strategic when booking my hotels. I always book a hotel that sits on/extremely close to a major public transport line. And I usually try and book a hotel that’s several stops away from the convention location. The earlier you book this hotel, the better price your will get. You can always use an agent like to take advantage of their cancellation deals, so if you need to cancel, you can. Try and get a hotel with bag holding services (see why later) and tea/coffee/mini fridge.
  • Start your cosplays early; there’s nothing worse than staying up late the night before, punching rivets into a piece of fabric, let me tell you.
  • Before planning cosplay, make sure you check weapons/props rules of the event company. There is no point spending all this time on a beautiful big prop to have it confiscated when you get there because it exceeds regulations. The prop rules might also affect who you decide to cosplay as.
  • While checking weapon rules for the event, also check in on local legislation. I.e. at the end of 2016, NSW brought in very strict rules regarding ‘fake guns’, making a lot of cosplay props illegal.

During the Convention

  • Have a ‘Floor Bag’; your floor bag should contain bare minimum- there is nothing worse than lugging around a huge bag around the convention. Go for something lightweight but big enough to hold what you need. Those super trendy, small, faux leather backpacks are perfect for cons. Also smaller shoulder satchels are a good idea. The bag should be able to hold comfortably a cosplay emergency kit (See next point), a water bottle, your wallet, phone/camera, tickets/coupons and a very lightweight cardigan/shawl.
  • Cosplay Emergency Kit;- This has only been a recent discovery of mine, but has saved my ass on more than one occasion. In your floor bag, keep a cosplay emergency kit; sometimes, things happen… like your hasty rivets/string sleeve breaks and you are walking around with a dirty, great bit of fabric flapping around your elbow. Or your foam armour comes away from the suit/backing. Or your eyeliner smudges like the winter soldier under your eyes. This is where the cosplay emergency kit comes in. There are multiple guides on the internet of what to put in your cosplay emergency kit, and sometimes some items depend on the costume. But there are a few things that definitely should be in there. Here are the items in my cosplay emergency kit;
    – Bandaids/plasters (multiple)
    – Safety pins (lots)
    – Bobby Pins (a small handful)
    – Small role of double sided tape
    – Panadol/pain killer
    – Translucent powder (Small container and small brush for makeup emergencies)
    – concealer (small tube in your shade)

    Cosplaying-on-a-budget and this forum on a cosplay community have some good tips and guides to follow regarding this.
  • Take Snacks; oh man believe me, this has saved me so many $$. Convention food is always ridiculously expensive and fair enough that you need to buy lunch, but if you can avoid buying snacks then you are already saving some dollars. Conventions require a lot of energy, and, if you can, I’d recommend going for some power foods; fruits (especially bananas) to give you an mid-morning energy boost and something like nuts (almonds and peanuts unsalted and raw) or muesli bars (check ingredients for hidden nasties) for any afternoon munchies. These items are small and can easily be slotted into your con bag.
  • If you are staying in the hotel, get your bags (not your floor bag) held at your hotel;- most Australian cons don’t hold luggage and you don’t want to be that annoying person walking around with a big bag and bashing into everyone. Saves your back, and other’s patience. I have not found one hotel, big or small/boutique, that does not hold your bags (if you are a guest).
  • When packing your bigger bags/overnight bag, make sure you bring normal clothes. I do not know about you, but after a big day at the con, I want nothing more to get changed and go for dinner. Dinner at a normal restaurant, not near the con, would be mightily awkward in cosplay.
  • Try to bring, not buy breakfast (hence mini fridge and tea and coffee at hotel). This also saves some much needed dollars and also can save a lot of time of a morning. I usually get those super small cereal boxes and bring them with me to hotels. They will often have milk in the room for tea and coffee making (if the room has that function) so you can skimp there. This is where it pays to do your room research. Another good idea is to get a deal at your hotel for included/free breakfast. This is another lifesaver.
  • Download the program before you get to the con, and highlight what panels you need to go to. Making a plan of attack for the day is essential. If there is a panel or signing that is early in the morning, you don’t want to miss it by rocking up late and not knowing it was on.
  • Buy photoshoots/autograph tickets as early as you can; if you want your preferred choice of time, then this is essential. They also sell out really quickly, so if you can buy them online before the con, I would definitely recommend it.
  • Take a portable recharger for on-the-go phone charging. I learnt this the hard way. If you are using your phone for social media checking in, photos and contact with friends, then your battery is going to die quicker than a background soldier in an action movie.
  • If at the con with friends, always have a spot to meet in case you go separate ways; I can guarantee you they will not ever respond to your texts or calls. Try to pick an unusual spot out of the way of most other con goers; do not clog a walkway.
  • Have your social media deets written down on paper, business cards or something creative (a cosplayer once gave me her youtube channel name on a wooden peg!) to give out to people as needed. Carry it in an easy to access place; you have more of a chance being tagged in photos of your cosplay that way.
  • Always have some cash on you; not all vendors have Credit Card facilities (though this gets better every year)


Please be aware of

  • Always, Always, Always be polite to everyone you meet; they are here to have fun and enjoy themselves just as much as you. I do not care if they barged you out of the way/took your friends seat/wearing the same cosplay as you/looked at you weird; everyone, especially your fellow nerds, deserves respect. Yes, people do not always show you the same kindness/politeness, but you will not receive it if you do not give it.
  • Respect other people’s work. This is mainly a Cosplay thing, but please always be respectful of someone else’s cosplay. I do not care if you personally don’t like it. I do not care how basic of a cosplay it is. I do not care how many other cosplayers are cosplaying the same character. People have put a lot of thought and effort into their cosplay. No matter how good it is, or how intricate/complex (or seemingly opposite). Every person cosplaying (even if it is just a slightly influenced one) is worthy and good. They deserve attention and praise just as much as others.
  • If you see someone being harassed, or assaulted, please step in. I cannot stress this enough. Like it or not (whether you have seen it before or not), this is something that still happens at cons. We cannot beat this behaviour unless we, as the by-standing public, call it out and prove that this is not ok. Please step in and protect your fellows. Please report it to Con officials/volunteers. Do not be a bystander. Stick up for people.
  • And finally, please, PLEASE BE CONSCIOUS OF YOUR PERSONAL HYGIENE!!! Please make sure you have showered and used deodorant. I’ve seen (and especially smelt) some bad things at cons. Please do your fellows a favour. I do not care if you do not think you smell or do not think it is bad. People will be much more sensitive to your hygiene than you are. It is a pet peeve of mine, and I am so conscious about myself, I get cut when others do not return the favour. There has been so many times when I have been gridlocked into a panel/hall/line and had to suffer through hell because someone has awful body odour. Please- also- if you are sick, please sanitise/clean your hands regularly, and cover your mouth. Germs travel like wildfire during cons.


I hope these tips have been super helpful and you have a fantastic time at your next con. 🙂


Beauty and the Beast Book Tag!

Beauty and the Beast Book Tag- Undecided Bookworm

So like most people, I’m Disney trash. And I live for the new Beauty and the Beast. When looking for blog inspo, I lighted on this tag. I just had to do it.

“Oh what a guy, Gaston!” A villain you can’t help but love-

Moriarty from the Sherlock Holmes Novels. Both via the on-screen adaptions and the original book adaption, there’s just something weirdly fascinating about Moriarty. I am not validifying his crimes or saying he is not- at times- despicable. I think that’s why I like him; he’s weird, more than a little bit psycho but our resident friendly megalomaniac

“Here’s where she meets Prince Charming” Your OTP-

I have a lot of ships. Like a lot. And sometimes my OTP changes depending on what I read and loved recently. But my all time fav OTP (Canonical here) is probably Elizabeth/Darcy. Common yes, but I just cant even with those two.

“I want so much more than this provincial life” A character destined for greater things. –

So. Many. Of. My. Children. Deserve. More!!! A constant pet peeve of mine is characters destined for far greater things than they’re given time for. There’s so many, so I just picked the first one which popped into my head which is Manon from the Celena Sardothian series by Sarah J Maas. Amirite?

“Be our guest!” A book that made you hungry.-

The Hunger Games. Ironically. Probably because Food is such a sacred thing to both Katniss and Peta that when they actually get the food, you kinda feel like you’re eating it with them. Case in point, Catching Fire at the Victors Ball.

“Beauty and the Beast” Opposites attract.

DUDE! Again, way too many options here. I live for opposites attract. LIKE LIVE. Purely because I’m reading the series at the moment, I’ll whack in Jamie Fraser and Claire Beauchamp/Randal/Fraser from the Outlander series. The best opposite attracts pair who are destined to be together!!!

“But there’s something in him that I simply didn’t see” A character who is more than they appear-

Once again, too many. But to settle on one for now, let’s go Rhysand from the ‘A Court of Thorns and Roses’ Series. To avoid spoilers, that is all I will say.

“I was innocent and certain, now I’m wiser but unsure” A book that changed you in some way-

Little known fact, the first book I read that wasn’t a middle grade fiction was actually Romeo and Juliet. It had a massive impact on me and cemented both my love of reading, but also my love of theatre. I’ve been obsessed with Shakespeare ever since and have gone on to perform in several Shakespeare plays. This book changed me a lot, and while it’s not my favourite of the Bard’s works, it holds a special significance for me.

“Kill the Beast!” A book you picked up because of hype. –

I’ve picked up many a book due to hype, some good, and some not so good (literally see all my book reviews). In the spirit of positivity, one of the best ones I picked up that was worth the hype was Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. This book was SO FANTASTIC it’s literally insane. i am trash for this book. I’ve literally recommended it to three different people over the past two months (only one of whom has read it since). Do yourself a favour and get your paws on this book.

“I’ll never shake away the pain” A book or moment that always makes you cry-

Can I name literally all of the Harry Potter Series? No? Well tough luck, the whole damn series makes me cry.

“How does a moment last forever” A book that you’ve loved since you were little.-

Funny story, one of my favourite childhood books was a random book that no one seems to have ever heard of. My gran owned it and I used to insist on having it read to me every time we stayed at her house. It went missing sometime when I was a teenager, and I’m still devastated to this day. The book was called “What a Pest” and if anyone else has read it, please raise your hand so I can bond with you.


I tag literally everyone. Please do this if it tickles your fancy. Leave your blog link below so I can check it out and give you some love.


Credit to the Book Nut where I originally found this tag. And credit to Amber Elise from Du Livre as the original tag owner

Review: Riverdale Season 1



Riverdale- (Netflix)

or: This. Show.


So like most people on the planet, I have Netflix; I’ve been done with mainstream free to air TV for a good 5 years. About 2 years ago, I got hooked on Netflix. I’ve watched a lot of shows in my short time on Netflix, from a range of different genres, and binge watched a majority. My tastes in TV vary greatly depending on my mood, but usually I stay away from the faux teen angst dramas. I think they’re stupid and obnoxious.

When Riverdale was first uploaded to Australian Netflix, I totally ignored it. I was finishing off a few different shows, and wasn’t interested with the tooth aching promo pictures. Eventually, though, the net was abuzz with it; everyone was talking about Riverdale, and I begun to grow a little more curious. As my relationship with my Ex ended, I needed to binge watch something crappy, and so, in a fit of feminine woe, I clicked on the first episode.

I don’t know what I expected- perhaps a pretty-little liars and vampire diaries hybrid? – This so wasn’t it.

I watched the first 5 episodes in one sitting, then had to wait while each episode came out. I was hooked. No, I AM hooked.

There’s something about ambiguously attractive 20-somethings playing teenagers that has just snared my attention. The mystery that the story rotates around, at first, seems so cheesy it’s not funny. But then three episodes in, it becomes obvious that this isn’t what you thought.

Now, I’m usually pretty good with who-dun-its. There’s only really been three that have really, deeply shocked me; there is the one who shall remain nameless because i’m still traumatised and get the wails each time I even think of the title, Broadchurch and this damn show.

But, I’m getting ahead of myself… I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone.

Because that’s one of the best things about this show; it takes you for a ride. The mystery is bold, but intricately crafted. The plot points each episode are fresh, different in style, and keep the narrative spinning on. The whole series has excellent pace, and I cannot think of one second of it that dragged.

From a cinema-buff’s point of view, the techniques and the shots were fabulous. Slow intense closeups, cut with wide shots and super high quality mp characterises some really innovative work. Props to the cameraman.

But perhaps one of my favourite things was the use, and the play on colours.


The highly saturated, definitely digitally enhanced, colours made the whole story velvet gold. The manipulation of colours in this way is clearly a nod back to the source material; the TV show is based off the old comic series Archie. But the colours also add a touch of modern-ness to this; the use of colour in this way reeks of current film trends, and the impact of the technique is so huge, I could right a thesis paper on it.

Colour helps to define characters and their motives. The Blossoms are shades of red (don’t forget the symbolism here folks! Red is an important colour for a reason), Betty is Pink (cute colour offset by a much deeper and surprising character), Jughead and JP in Blacks and Greys (total opposites personality wise, and made to play off each other in the same hue), Archie in blues and reds (to highlight the two different Archie’s employed by the show writers at particular points in the series) and so on.

I liked that the show writers didn’t force the show into the super long American standard episodes (in comparison to usually shorter model European and British shows use); had they done so, it definitely would have cheapened the show. The impact is in it’s succinctness.

Now that season one has come to an end (I’m not crying, your crying!) I feel weirdly satisfied. I mean, I’m definitely going to be on tenterhooks for season two, but man that was such a neat way to end the series (i’m a hideous tease I know ;-))

Riverdale will definitely surprise you; trust me, even my review isn’t going to assist you here. 100% would recommend this show. My only advice is, wait to judge if you will continue the series until after episode four. If it’s not doing it for you after episode four, it might not be for you. And hey, you’ve got plenty of time to binge watch season one, season two might be a while.

I hope you liked my first TV show review. Something a bit different, but good to get back into the swing of things again. 

Book Unhaul- Best Places to Get Rid of Old Books


If you’re like me, your bookcase is less #shelfgoals and more “oh my god where can I fit this book I just got, I’ve got no space!”. My book shelf frequently spills out onto my floor, and periodically, much to my distress, I do a book cull.

Book culls seem scary for bibliophiles, but trust me, it’s sometimes sorely needed and almost cathartic.

A few weeks ago, I accepted that I needed to purge my bookcase. There were things on there from when I was 15 that I had read and wasn’t particularly fond of, and some things I was just never going to look at. So I went through and culled.

It wasn’t a particularly big cull- I did a huge cull about 2 years ago- but was a sizable portion; I can get all my books into my book case now, even if they are double layered.

I realised that there may be some people who are keen to purge, but either don’t know how/what to give away, or where to give them away too. So here are some of my tips that will hopefully help you with your endeavours;

What to Get Rid of- Book Purge

There are some rules of thumb that you should always use when doing a book purge, and some categories/identifiers you can use to select books to purge;

  1. Did you really enjoy this book when you read it?
  2. Does this book carry a lot of memories for a particular place/time/person?
  3. Was this book a present from someone special?
  4. How long has this book sat on your shelf for?
  5. Be brutally honest, are you ever going to read this book?

If you answer yes/not long to most of these, then this book should probably stay, unless you’re intending on really de-cluttering. If it answers to more than 2 no’s (if it’s no to question 5 it should definitely go) then you should probably put this in your “get rid of” pile.

Will it be hard to get rid of most of the books? yes. I’m not going to lie and pretend that it isn’t. But just keep in mind that just because you are parting ways with this book, doesn’t mean this is the end of the book’s life; think about how much of an impact this book could have on someone else.

A book purge isn’t the destruction of books; it’s just identifying the books you should pass on to someone else.


Where to Give books- book purge.jpg

Books should never be thrown away, unless you physically can’t keep the pages in the binding anymore. I am a strong campaigner for book re-homing. Given how expensive books can be, and how precious they are, it’s important they live a few different lives with a few different people.

I’ve always given away books; I like to pass on the magic to someone else who would enjoy them as much, or more, than me.

So, you’ve identified the books you no longer want/need. So now where do they go? There’s so many different options or ways to go about this, but here’s a few for those who aren’t sure where to start.

Give them to your friends

After my recent purge, there were quite a few books which I thought my friends might like, so I put up a Facebook post listing the books I was giving away, and a picture of the books and their titles and conditions. I got a fantastic response from my friends, with most wanting the same series. I ended up giving away 5 of the books to one of my friends who is very excited to have them.

Never take for granted the power of friends or social media!

Facebook post- book purge.jpg

Sell your second hand books

There are lots of websites or small indie bookstores around the world who offer to buy your second hand books for you. A quick google search will show you multiple places to do so in your area. Try to go for reputable companies and make sure you check what prices they on-sell them for and the condition of the books that they ask for, to ensure they’re not taking you for a ride. Some examples I’ve heard of are, Thriftbooks (very highly recommended). If you’re an Aussie, the are lots of smaller organisations that Australian based who are keen to buy second hand books; i.e. BerkelouWbooks. A lot of university/Alumni bookshops also offer similar services.

If you happen to have a very popular/hyped/new/rare book that you would like to sell, you might have some luck on places like Ebay, Gumtree/Craigslist, buy/sell groups on Facebook.

Give your books to a women/children’s shelter

There are so many people that have it so much harder than we do, and as domestic violence and homelessness rates rise around the world, it’s important to do all we can to support our fellow human beings. While you may not be able to give cash/donations to organisations like this, you can give old clothes or books.

Ask around/google for some local shelters, and get in touch with the organisation/charity group running them to see if they are willing to take books (most shelters love book donations). The difference that a book could make in someones life who rely’s on these shelters is immense.

Give them to a Charity Shop/Charity

This is my favourite way to pass on most things I don’t want i.e. clothes, CD’s etc. Books definitely falls under this category. I like choosing what store/charity I give the books to, and knowing that someone who may not normally have to buy books at retail price can purchase my books. My books are pretty much in new condition (I’m extremely fussy with my books), and I love having something to physically give to a charity. I’m so privileged to lead a comfortable life and if I can give to a charity that can help ease the strain in someone else’s life, i’m down. The money the charities make from the book sale will go to something worthy; the books have a double impact, not only being available to others for their enjoyment, but also helping another group of people at the same time.

My favourite charities to give to in Australia are Lifeline, the Salvation Army and the St Vincent De Paul Society. Do your research though, there might be a local charity which may catch your attention as a local cause.


So there’s some ideas of what you can do with your old books you no longer want. Leave me a line in the comments if you try some of these out or you personally recommend one of the methods. I would love to hear from you.

Here’s a little picture of the books I un-hauled 😉