Love, Lydia - Notes from a geeky, plus sized artist.: family
Showing posts with label family. Show all posts
Showing posts with label family. Show all posts

Friday, September 9, 2016

Let's Play: Molkky


Hello friends,


I've got a lot of exciting things in store for you this month as fall brings things back into focus.  Today's post is a fun review of a game called Molkky.  The game's maker, Tactic Games sent me a copy of the game to try out and review for you all (Nope I'm not paid to review it, they just saw I write about games sometimes and thought you all would like it!).  Molkky is a game that originates in Finland and is one of the most popular lawn games in Europe.  You can read more about it's history here.

Molkky




I was hoping to try it out with family before or during Labor day weekend, but nature had other plans and sent us some rain with the remnants of hurricane Hermine.  But take a peek at the video to see Bryan and I playing and enjoying this game!  It gives a much better view of the game pieces in action.

My Molkky Experience




In terms of the quality it's nicely boxed up in a very sturdy cardboard carrying case with a comfortable plastic handle.  The wooden games pieces seem to be made of a sturdy, but lightweight wood, probably pine.  The whole set is built to last well, and I think families will not only get a lot of use out of it since it's a game that's easy for all ages to learn and play, but also keep coming back to it each summer.  (Or if you're like us you can play indoors with bad weather!)  It's not as complex as some of the board games I play, but I really like games like this that can be played at parties and family get togethers.  If you'd like to get a game you can find them here through my Amazon affiliate link.  And you can check out Tactic's site here as well for more information.

Thanks for reading!  Let me know if you have any other fun board games or lawn games you want me to try out in the comments.  I'll have some more posts coming up soon.





Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Where am I? And "Sister, Spy" Book Review

Hi friends!


I know I haven't been around much lately, and I wanted to give you an update as to why.  For the first time in what feels like a long time many of the reasons are good.  And I'm happy to share some great things on the horizon too!



Where I've Been...

First of all May kept me busy, I've been in a great group coaching course called the Own It Academy, led by Jessica Rasdall (She's amazing!  Her story is unique and moving; definitely check her out if you want to learn how to convey your stories to folks!).  The class has been a fantastic experience that's had me writing away as I learn more about how to tell my story to you all.  The idea behind the course is boldly owning up to your story for the world to see and telling it effectively, so your audience can be encouraged, learn from what you have to say, and understand what it's like to be you.   We're about 2/3 of the way through the course now and along the way I realized the writing I've been doing there has honestly sapped away at my creative energy for posts.  So I'm sorry I haven't been around as much as I usually am, but I'm happy to be learning a lot, which I'm excited to start sharing with you all.

One of the biggest things I've discovered is how I've been looking for balance in my life and failing to find it.  Mostly because I push myself so hard to reach goals that are unrealistic.  I imagine you all can relate, you set great goals that when you look at each one individually seem quite attainable, but when you look at the big picture you realize you're trying too hard to be superwoman.  Honestly, my goals have been ambitious, and that's not taken into account how I deal with depression or other areas of my life I want to respect.

It's made me re-think my plans and goals for the future.  I'm prioritizing being happier and not being down on myself because I've set a course that's impossible to follow and be healthy.  It means that instead of trying to post 3 times a week I'll try for 1-2 really great quality posts that will help you, my wonderful readers, much more.  I love spending the time to research topics, creating great images, and fully writing out my ideas to give you the best I can.  I'm looking forward to doing more of that.  Right now my biggest problem is that I have loads of great ideas to write about, and have learn to put some of those ideas on the back burner!

Other than that I've been doing a lot with family, like having my parents visit, attending my brother in law Davey's wedding, and spending time with my husband.  I've dealt with a nasty cold, and some other health issues, which are thankfully getting better, though I'll touch on them more in a future post.  And in the past month my husband, Bryan, had been waiting for and finally received notice that the job he'd been contracting for the past 6 months is hiring him as a permanent employee.  We're super thrilled about that and starting to think ahead for some new developments in our personal life related to the increased stability we'll be so lucky to have.


Sister, Spy - Book Review




I love finding new books in a variety of genres, and while normally spy stories aren't my thing the premise of this one captured my interest.  And luckily I was given a copy of it to review by the publisher.  "Sister, Spy" by Menahem Misgav is about a pair of siblings who survived WWII living in monasteries and were recruited by the Soviets to spy for them in the fledgling country of Israel.

The first third of the book starts with a situation where the brother is killed, then we learn more about his family and how they lived the war.  A good amount of the next third of the book is about how he and his sister came to be spies. (Including a chapter on the sister's sexual awakening and subsequent relationships, which was a little graphic for my tastes, with all the parts of the story before it being focused on the family it was a little jarring.)  Finally in the last third of the book we get to see why the brother was killed and what his sister and father will do now that he's gone.

Overall I enjoyed the author's writing style quite a bit and found a fast and engaging read.  Other than the sexual content the only other fault I might have would be with some light mistakes in editing, all homonyms that snuck through the editing process.  I feel like this happens with many recently published books I read, since publishing now relies so heavily on spellcheck as an editing tool.  Perhaps this means I should take up editing?  In any case such a common issue it's hardly worth mentioning if I weren't such a grammar nerd.  I think most people with an interest in Holocaust survivors, spies, or Cold War fiction will enjoy this novel.  Please check it out here on Amazon through this affiliate link.



Coming Soon

More book reviews!

A follow up article with more reviews of LuLaRoe clothing than the popular original post (found here).

About a dozen videos, including lots of unboxings of beauty, geek, craftsy, and food boxes, plus my first fashion review on film!

And last but not least here's a brand new giveaway if you scroll down, because it's been too long since I've had some fun with you all!  Thanks and I'll see you all again very soon.



This giveaway includes a pair of LuLaRoe leggings in size TC (Tall & Curvy, fits sizes 12-24) 3 pairs of owl socks, and 2 pairs of "invisible" or "floating" style cat socks.  The owl and cat socks can be found here (owls) and here (cats) through my Amazon affiliate links.  LuLaRoe clothing is sold through local or online consultants, you can buy leggings through my consultant, Nicole's Facebook group here.  None of the companies involved paid me in any way, I just wanted to share some fun clothing with you all in this month's giveaway, which runs until July 4th!






LuLaRoe Leggings and Cute Sock Giveaway

Monday, February 15, 2016

Valentine's Day Celebrations, Beauty Swap, and Card Exchange

Hi Folks,


Update

I've been busy this past week and fighting off a cold.  This winter is just a tough one for my body apparently.  But there are lots of good things to appreciate as well.  I've been filming a bunch of videos, mostly unboxings of fun beauty and lifestyle boxes.  I also have that darn winter capsule wardrobe post nearly ready to post.  I know I keep saying it's coming, but I keep running into snags while putting it together.  It'll be here soon, promise!  (Maybe today!?)

MuteMath

Friday I headed out with my brother in law Michael to see MuteMath at The Cat's Cradle.  The last time I saw them live was back in 2006...the last time they were at the venue with Switchfoot actually.  While I don't think they allowed SLR cameras at the show I did take some reasonable phone shots and a little video I thought I'd share.  The show was just amazing, MuteMath is one of my favorite live bands hands down!



02-12-2016 Mute Math

video

Hopefully you can get a feel for their energy!  I think I was dancing almost the whole time!

Valentine's Day Celebrations

Next up is the real reason for this post - I wanted to share a pair of videos I made for Valentine's Day!   I did a card exchange with some fellow bloggers and YouTubers from the Geeks & Beauties Community.  And I also participated in a beauty swap challenge where Zainey Laney and I bought each other the makeup for a Valentine's Day date look for under $10!  These were both loads of fun and if you hop over to the videos on YouTube you can see links to other folks from the group joined in as well.  Part 1 has the cards and me opening the items for the beauty look.  Part 2 is putting on the makeup and chatting about life!




The cold I've had also made me have to take off the makeup almost immediately after putting it on....my eyes were just so itchy.  It made me sad.  And things stayed that way for our actual Valentine's Day date as well.  So I went with some extra bright lipstick and a couple doses of medication to help me make it to our double date with Bryan's parents.  We decided to see The Force Awakens again, and went out to lunch once we realized we'd have to catch a slightly later show than planned because the show we wanted was sold out.  It gave us a chance to go eat at Chili's together, and do a bit of shopping before the movie as well.  We oogled some board games at Game Theory, a great local gaming shop.  There may need to be some board game review posts here in the future!  We also discovered once we arrived at the theater that it was newly renovated and had super nice reclining seats.  We had a wonderful time watching Star Wars a second time and came up with more fan theories (you can hear some of my initial ones in this post) and discussed what we'd observed since we listened to the Hello Internet podcast on The Force Awakens this past week as well.  Here's a parting shot of us!



Thanks for reading, I'll see you all again soon.

www.lydiadickson.com

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Suspense, Dystopian Worlds, and Gaming for Charity!

Hi folks,

I've had a rough week, but I'm going to be writing 3 posts before I go to bed Saturday.  This is post one!

So I've had the pleasure of reading two books recently that were given to me by the authors for review.  I'm excite to get to do this sometimes because it allows me to try some things that I might not normally see otherwise.  I find these books through reviewer partnership sites like Tomoson or Net Galley and occasionally even get some compensation for spreading news about them online (as I would most of the books I review).  But, on to the reviews....

The Torment of Rachel Ames



The Torment of Rachel Ames is a novella by Jeff Gunhus.  I'm normally not so interested in horror or thrillers, but I noticed the blurb for this book put emphasis on how a lot of what is happening is simply the character trying to figure out what parts of her life are reality and which are her mind playing tricks on her.  All of this takes place at a lake house, which could be anywhere, but seems to have a bit of Maine flavor to me.  As the story progresses the reader thinks they know what's happening, but the truth really doesn't come out until the last few chapters.  And even then it left me with unanswered questions.  Luckily it was in a way I didn't mind!  I liked this book and it's a quick read, though I will warn it is more graphic than most I read, but I read pretty tame books overall too.  You can pre-order the book on Amazon here◊ (it comes out November 10th!) and read more about the author at www.jeffgunhus.com


Alice in No Mans Land


Alice in No Mans Land by James Knapp◊ is a dystopian fiction that sticks to a lot of the trends I've seen lately in the genre.  It's not uncommon since so many of the trends are universals, some part, usually a large chunk of it is left to some horrible fate, in this case blocs of desolation where squatters live.  One of the country's largest businessmen decided to go out and look at bloc he wants to convert.  He brings his kids and second wife along for the ride, and then things get crazy as his daughter Alice finds herself crash landed in the middle of the bloc.  What ensues next is the typical kind of exploration that opens the privileged girl's eyes and earns her friends along the way.  It's not entirely predictable, but it's a little more predictable than I'd like.  The writing is pretty good and kept me reading to know the ending.  It's a reasonable choice if you're looking for more in the genre, though I admit I might be getting a bit jaded towards it myself.

Extra Life



Lastly, today Bryan, his brother DJ and I are participating in Extra Life - a 24 hour game marathon for charity.  We're playing several different games from Season 2 of the Walking Dead to Street Fighter 4, Arkham Knight, and more.  All proceeds are going to the Children's Miracle Nework, so if you feel like you're interested in watching you can watch a livestream of us playing at http://www.twitch.tv/fatubuu8990 and if you feel moved to support us you can visit our donation page at http://www.extra-life.org/.  

Otherwise I'm going to attempt to write more later today because I have too many things to catch up on!  Have a great day everyone.

Love,
Lydia

Monday, October 12, 2015

Update and Geek Tag

Hello everyone,

The week has been crazy and I'm a little behind on everything.  Sorry about that, however, I can say confidently that I've not been dealing with my normal levels if stress for many reasons.  First off I had to make a tough decision about the trip to Texas for one of my best friend's wedding, which I now won't be going at all on.  Then we got some really bad financial news, which isn't our fault, but is going to make our life hard for a while if we can't get it cleared up.  The state is wrongfully claiming we owe them taxes, and after delivering paperwork all summer including filing taxes for a year Bryan was without income besides school funds to prove it, we thought they were finally satisfied.   I suppose they forgot to dismiss the case and sent notice this week that they're garnishing Bryan's wages.  Which really stinks since we just started having to pay double the amount on student loan payments and were stretched thin from that, which resulted in canceling the Texas trip.  Lastly one of Bryan's aunts passed away over the weekend, which was rather unexpected, but due to late stage cancer that we just found out about this week.

But I'm here today for a geek tag from the Geeks and Beauties group I joined recently on Google+.  Questions and answers about fun things in geeky theme.  You can check out some of the videos from the folks who've done it already here and here.

Geek Tag!


1. First Fictional Character Crush.  This is a tough one, but probably Connor from Wren To The Rescue, I've read so many books it's hard to think which might have been first.

2. Dungeons and Dragons or Vampire The Masquerade? I want to simply change this question to "What tabletop role play system do you prefer?" and answer it with Hackmaster New since I've more experiences with alternative systems.


3. Geekiest Item You Own.  LEGOs....I own a bunch of them after working for the Columbus, Ohio store while in college.  It was awesome.  Plus Bryan and I have added to our collection since then.





4. Anne Rice or Stephanie Meyer?  Anne Rice is on my to read list, but hasn't happened yet, so I guess I default to Meyer for now.  *shrugs*


5. First Dr. Who Episode.  Love and Monsters, I caught it the night it was aired in the dorm lounge.  I didn't come back to Doctor Who for a couple more years, possibly partially having to do with the cheesiness of that episode.


6. Star wars or Star Trek?  Both, though Trek wins for being more inclusionary for women and minorities.


7. All Time Favorite Movie.  Amelie, or Pan's Labyrinth, or maybe Hot Fuzz depending on the day.


8. Best Xmas Gift Ever?  Last year hubby and I got a 3DSXL and I love it, so does he.


9. Your Theme Song - Everything by Watashi Wa


10. Name a Perfect Geek Night Out.  For my husband and I this is probably a double date with his brother Davey and fiancee Keri where we go out to dinner and a sci fi movie or to a book trivia program at a local library (we might try a pub trivia thing someday!)


11. If money was no object what would you cosplay?  Bee from Bee and Puppycat


12. Absolute must have book or series?  Harry Potter


13. First Video Game you Played; How old were you?  Well, I know I played Pac Man and Galaga when I was probably 8 on arcade machines with my dad.  As for console games we got an original Nintendo when I was 11 and I started with the classic Duck Hunt/Super Mario Bros.
Image from museumofplay.org


14. Batman Vs Superman - Batman


15. Alien vs predator - *shrugs*  This fandom isn't really my thing


16. Favorite tv show - Favorite that's currently on TV would be Heroes Reborn, my favorite overall is probably Doctor Who (yes I am dissing Moffat here)


17. Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings?  Well, I like the world from Harry Potter better, but Tolkien writes so elegantly.  I still have to go with Harry Potter though.


18. Geekiest Thing to your left.  Take your pick, Japanese candy, the bluetooth shutter remote button (photo nerd!), my "Pokedex" checklist and Pokemon tokens from our tabletop role play game, and the Ravenclaw planner.



19. First video game system you owned?  Well, I shared the Nintendo with my brother, but it wasn't much after that I got a Gameboy Color and Pokemon Blue.


20. Favorite Villain of all time? Loki, though I also really enjoy Harley Quinn.

Feel free to respond with your own geek tag!  I tag you all!

Love,
Lydia

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Reasons Why I Blog

Hey folks,

So I was asked this question recently, "what's your blog for", and it got me thinking.  I've been able to write my thoughts online for a long time, first via a very old Tripod website, then on Live Journal and now here.  Being able to write out my thoughts has been something that's been very healthy for me mentally and a great aid to thinking through whatever I might be going through in life.  As an introvert I find it especially helpful because I end up energized after making my thoughts more clean and dedicating them to a file or written page, rather than rolling around in my head.  It's helped me when I'm in some of my deeper bouts with depression as it allowed me to pour out my worries, share my fears, and simply let people know what's going on in my life, even when it's not happy stuff.

Sometimes it's easier to write out my thoughts than say them to another person because I can be more articulate and can talk to many people at once without wearying myself as I would if I tried to do the same thing in person!  And even when I didn't write online (in college mostly), I wrote in a notebook often, and am still in the habit of carrying a little notebook with me.  I don't think my cell phone note taking will ever replace it.  Especially knowing I'll be able to remember things better when I write by hand since it engages more parts of the brain at once, making better memories of what was written.

However this blog started as a way to document and share art processes as I was trying to get a Kickstarter campaign going to fund a body of artwork.  It failed to work out, but the blog stuck, and I've slowly changed it from talking about art to more of my life.  I realized some friends I don't talk to as often and even my family members now that we live further away from each other like hearing what's happening in my life, and this blog filled that need.  It's become more multimedia over time, and in some ways becomes its own art form, since writing is after all just another of the arts.

Now this blog is also about ways of sharing my interests i.e. books, fashion, travel, and social issues.  Something like a plus size capsule wardrobe is unique enough that I might even get to help some people as the make their own, similarly ethical fashion in plus size is hard to find too.  And then I might go make a DIY chalkboard tutorial or post a family recipe for chili .  It makes for very eclectic reading, but those of you who have met me know just how that word suits me.  I hope I strike a balance that keeps you all interested, you're welcome to holler at me if you want more of something I haven't mentioned in a while too!  Overall I sincerely hope my many interests will be a good influence on my readers and help me meet others from a variety of backgrounds too.

In some way blogging is like a having a superpower.  I'm just starting to realize how powerful it can be, which is both odd and enlightening to someone who'd not used to seeking the spotlight actively for most of her life.  I'm not even sure I'm seeking it now, at least not so much for myself.  Because, here's the thing, friends, if I ever become that loud annoying person I would hate myself.  I just want to start some conversations and share what knowledge I have that might be useful.  So my superpower is hopefully one I can share with all of you as I open up a safe place for discussion and help bring in wonderful individuals to engage with.



And for now I'll just keep writing and trying to remember that "With great power there must also come great responsibility" (Stan Lee).  The responsibility to write regularly and continue overcoming the depression that tells me to do otherwise.  So Wednesday I'll be back again, and hope you'll join me.  Til then!

Love,
Lydia

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Beach Week Aftermath

Welcome back everyone!

I ended up taking time off of blogging while at the beach.  Obviously I didn't intend to, but the week ended up being a busier one than I anticipated.  I didn't even get any reading done!  However, I did spend lots of time with a great bunch of people playing board games, card games, computer games, going on a double date night, having late night chats, making a trip to the outlets, and celebrating my birthday.  I've been reviewing all the photos I took today, but also relaxing because I don't feel so hot.  It's really rather nice to have an excuse to relax after such a busy week.  I know most people don't feel like a vacation is work, but when I'm around a lot of people and get no real time to myself for a while it can be really draining.

Here are some highlights from the week at North Myrtle Beach:

On our first night there the moon was still nearly full and begging to be photographed, so I did!

The yard leading up to the beach.

I stayed up all night Tuesday because the air conditioning was out at the beach house, but in the morning when it was a bit nicer out (it was incredibly muggy all week and mostly very hot with the occasional thunderstorm) I went out to the beach and watched the sunrise with my camera and a couple of the guys.








And finally a little close up nature shot, my favorite kind!



As for the indoor activities I didn't take many photos at all.  Just a shot of the tournament poster I made for our Magic: The Gathering tournament, which I did surprisingly well in.  

On the way home we grabbed Michael to make things more fun and stopped at South of the Border, one of the kitschiest little bits of America that ever happened.  There we saw:
A terrifying jaguar with an unhinged jaw, the horrors!

Our brother Davey, flying his kite.

A very fake shark.

The sad mannequin, with tear stained cheeks, the poor limbless guy.

King Kong and a menagerie of other fiberglass creatures, real and imaginary.  My favorite was the lavender jackalope, I should have taken a picture of it and now kick myself for missing the chance.

The giant sombrero tower.

And the iconic sign.


We also saw plenty of fiends of old corn, peanuts, and tobacco (what's pictured above).  We got stuck in traffic on I-95 multiple times before and after lunch, and eventually got off of it altogether.  But we did enjoy the side trip for a fantastic Cuban lunch in Fayetteville, NC at Habana Cuban Restaurant.

We may have gotten home Saturday, but Sunday was busy too as Allan (Bryan's dad) and I went to see Garrison Keillor on his Prairie Home Companion: The America The Beautiful tour.  I had heard about it only a couple weeks before and near the same time heard of Keillor's upcoming retirement.  Having listened to the show with my parents many Sunday afternoons I had fond memories of his show and wanted to be able to see a bit of it live just once, and thus asked for a ticket as a birthday gift.  While the performances on this tour aren't all aired on the radio they have many of the same features as the show, plus some delightful sing along elements too.  We had a wonderful evening with perfect weather, and a fantastic venue in the Koka Booth Ampitheater in Cary, NC.  I'm hoping to take Bryan (and anyone else inclined to go) back this fall for some of their more moderately priced bluegrass concerts.






I'll be back Wednesday with another set of book reviews.  Thanks for reading!

Love,
Lydia

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Blue Moon Fashion

Hi everyone,

Today we've got a blue moon in the sky (a blue moon is when there are two full moons in the same month) and I thought I'd share a rare outfit too in keeping with that theme.  What I did was allowed my husband Bryan to choose an outfit for me to wear on our date night this week, and I opened up my closet so he could use things in and out of my capsule wardrobe, coaching him through how things might work.  Here's what we got:

Top - Macy's, Necklace by Suzanne Love Jewelry (Raleigh artist), Purse - Target, Skirt - Torrid, Shoes - Toms
And here's an OOTD (Outfit of the day) I wore to the family reunion in Georgia last weekend:



The hair clip is from Modcloth, Top - Catos, Skirt - Catos, Sandals - Modcloth (Keri was my photographer here!)

The next day on the drive home I wore this comfy outfit.
Top - Anthropologie, Neckalace Phoebe Marie (Cleveland, OH artist),
Shorts - Levis via Amazon.com, Shoes Converse Kids via Macy's


And here are some shots from the trip and the reunion itself:

Hummingbird moths!



Mist on the Nantahala River


Teaching Keri to play Ricochet Robots



The yearly DS party

Sharing chips with our 8 year old cousin

These shots are at what has got to be one of the most beautiful rest stops I've ever seen.





All the Confederate flags!! But it was a cool little flea market.


At the Blue Ridge Parkway Folk Art Center...the lighting from those windows was too good to pass up!



As you can see I really enjoy taking pictures of nature when I can get out into it some!  It's been a busy week here and we're packing up to head the the beach, with DJ valiantly staying home to take care of the bun (our rabbit Scarlet, which you can see a video of here).  I'll write again once I get to the beach.

Love,
Lydia