5 Fandom Friday: Fandoms I’m thankful for.

This week’s prompt gave me pause for thought.  I have so many fandoms that I enjoy, but how many of them am I thankful for?  Hmmmm.  Once I put my mind to it I realised that there have been some wonderful things that fandom has brought into my life, and once I noticed those things it was easy to put together this week’s list.

  1. Friends

Friends was one of my earliest fandoms.  I really got into it once the show had been running for quite a while, and ended up watching the first few seasons as reruns.  When I moved away to university, my boyfriend surprised me with a box-set of all ten seasons of Friends.  That box of DVDs became my lifeline over the coming year.  I would watch episodes when I got stressed or homesick and I invited my new college friends to my room for Friends nights.  That show got me through my first year at uni, and kept me afloat during some other tough times.

2. Harry Potter

Harry Potter provided me with some common ground when bonding with some of my now-good friends.  People like Natalie, Nina and so many others.  I have loads of friends who are into Harry Potter, and who are also socially awkward geeks.  Harry brought us all together and gave us something to chat about when we were feeling shy and weird.



3. Tank Girl

Tank Girl has given me many reasons to be thankful.  Not only did she give me a kick-ass role model to look up to in my teens, but she also provided a talking point when I met my ex-partner, Ross.  He and I were both big Tank Girl fans which was super exciting to me because until that point I’d never met another person who had even heard of Tank Girl.  In addition to that, Tank Girl was my very first cosplay, and I’ve made loads of friends while wearing my Tank Girl costume.  So I’m very grateful indeed to that fandom for opening so many doors for me.



4. The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Rocky Horror has brought me so much joy, whether it’s in the form of cosplaying as Columbia or having epic Rocky Horror parties with my friends.  The tagline for the film, “Don’t Dream it, Be it” has become something of a personal motto for me.  I like to do my best to make dreams a reality, to live the life that makes me happy and to embody those things that mean a lot to me.  And I’m grateful to Rocky Horror for bringing that motto into my life.

5. Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones holds a special place in my heart because it’s a fandom that has brought my Dad and I closer together.  He is a huge GoT fan and we can spend ages rehashing our favourite moments, talking about character interactions and imagining what’s coming next.  It’s awesome to be able to have those moments with Dad.


Which fandoms are you grateful for?  I’d love to hear your answers to this week’s prompt, because it is such an inventive one.


Things I Love Thursday: 19/11/2015

This past week has been a very busy one.  I’ve been quite the social butterfly, flitting from one meeting to the next.  While I enjoy heading out into the world and meeting people, it’s important for me to have time to myself as well to keep grounded.  My weekly Things I Love Thursday post is one of my favourite grounding practices.


This week I love:

Sleepy Jelly. #cats #kitty #sleepy #adorable

A photo posted by Vanessa Bowen (@nessbow64) on

  • Miss Jellylorum.  My sweet little lady turned eight last Friday.  I know it sounds corny, but Jelly really is my best friend.  She is such a constant companion and she’s been with me through good times and bad.  I think it’s also fair to say that this tortoiseshell diva has saved my life on a couple of occasions.  When I’ve been at my very lowest, and wondering if it might not be better if I weren’t here at all, the though of leaving Jelly alone is too much for me to bear.  When you are depressed, it’s easy to think that the people in your life might not miss you if you weren’t here, but it’s hard to feel that way about animals.  I love her, and I know that she loves me.  She’s precious.
  • Planning dates to the zoo in the near future.
  • Breathing a sigh of relief that all my friends are safe and sound in the wake of the trauma in Paris
  • Getting ready to go out. Mt hair needed feathers. #hair #vintage #birdsofafeather

    A photo posted by Vanessa Bowen (@nessbow64) on

  • Wearing feathers in my hair.
  • Lunches down the lake.
  • Getting excited about Christmas.  I adore the festive season, but I make myself wait until December 1st before I will allow myself to get out any decorations or seasonal treats.  And it’s nearly here!  I can’t wait.
  • How do you like them apples? #thrifting #scarves #kawaiiasfuck

    A photo posted by Vanessa Bowen (@nessbow64) on

  • The apple-printed scarf I found at the op-shop for a mere fifty cents.
  • Cool nights and thunderstorms.
  • Old school Disney films.
  • Knitting. The click-clack of the needles is so soothing to me.

What do you love this week?

What I wore: 17/11/2015

Today’s outfit was inspired by a pair of earrings.  I’ve been hunting for a pair of jungle-style gold hoop earrings for years.  I just adore the way they look so bohemian but with a touch of toughness.  Anyway, I finally stumbled across a pair a few weeks ago at Louvisa and I built this entire outfit around them.

This outfit was worn to have coffee and cake with my parents and to wander around the weekend market in town.

I am wearing:

  • Gold-tone hoop earrings from Louvisa
  • Black tank top from H & M
  • Purple zig zag skirt from Target
  • Black sandals from Sportsgirl
  • Gold cuff (vintage)

Another thing that I’ve been shopping for lately is plain-coloured tanks and tee shirts for summer.  While I have a lot of printed tee shirts, sometimes I want to wear something plain on top to let a bright skirt do all the talking.  I love being bold and wearing bright colours and prints but I’m not such a fan of print-clashing.  I prefer to pick a central piece for an outfit (like this fabulous royal purple skirt) and keep the rest of the outfit pretty simple.


I’ve also let my sidecut grow out a bit and I’m enjoying the fuzzy contrast between the short side and the rest of my hair.  I’ve been experimenting with slicking it down with wax or just letting it go wild.  I will probably take the clippers to it before too much longer, because I do love the just-shaved feeling as well.  It’s so much fun to have the ability to play around with super-short hair, while still having all the variety and security that comes with long hair.  I have no regrets about my sidecut.


What have you been wearing lately?

Personal heroes: Bill Cunningham

I finally got around to checking out Bill Cunningham: New York.  Boy oh boy, was that movie a revelation for me.  As soon as it began to roll, I felt an instant tug of recognition and respect for Bill and his philosophy towards fashion.


Bill is, first and foremost, a street fashion photographer.  Although he does work taking pictures of runway shows and high life parties, his real love is bare-bones street photography.  His belief is  that “The best fashion show is on the street”, and he spends most of his time documenting the stylistic adventures of everyday New Yorkers.

Bill’s outlook is a breath of fresh air to me.  Although I adore fashion, there is a cloak of cattiness that tends to surround the fashion world.  When you talk about fashion, inevitably the conversation turns to what you should or shouldn’t be wearing, who wore an outfit better and the “rules” of fashion.  And that has always grated on me, because I feel that fashion shouldn’t be about The Rules and Should and Should Not.  To me, fashion is a beautiful form of self expression.  And it was wonderful to see that one of the most respected fashion photographers felt the same way.

Bill Cunningham’s work is a joyous celebration of fashion.  It’s about weeding out a gloriously stylish individual from a crowd and capturing them on film.  It was such a pleasure to watch this strange little man cavorting about the streets of New York, snapping people of all ages, all sizes, all colours and with a rainbow of styles.  For him, fashion isn’t limited to the young and rich, fashion is a living, breathing entity that lives in the people on the street.  Like me, Bill Cunningham believes that fashion is for everyone.

Another things I thought was brilliant about Bill is his approach to trends.  Ordinarily, trends in fashion are used to dictate what we “should” be wearing.  A fashion magazine or designer chooses an item, a colour, a fabric and decrees that this is The Thing To Wear.  Bill’s approach is the exact opposite.  Rather than telling people what they should wear, Bill looks at what people actually are wearing.  He spends countless hours on the streets, looking for patterns in what the passers-by are wearing and reporting on them.  In this way, he keeps fashion on the ground, giving the everyman the power to dictate the trends simply by wearing what appeals to them.

Bill’s fascination with the style of real people spoke to me on a deep level.  It tickled my own adoration of fashion and caused a spark of realisation.  Like Bill, I’m not terribly interested in celebrity fashion, in people who follow the fashion rules wearing what they’ve been told to wear.  What I want to see is what real people with similar paycheques to mine who have access to similar stores put on their bodies.  I want to see what real people are wearing, and marvel in the creativity and beauty of actual men and women.  And that’s why I love fashion blogging.  Because it gives you a peek into the wardrobes of genuine people and allows you to peek at what they live their lives in.  Part of the reason that I began taking outfit pictures and sharing them via this blog is that I wanted to showcase my own style, and show people that you don’t have to be rich or particularly clever to express yourself through fashion.  And I wanted to encourage others to take that leap and find their own sartorial path.

Something that has always stung me about the fashion industry is the pressure it places on women to look a certain way, and the scathingness towards those who do not fit the mould.  In this film, a friend mentions that Bill’s work isn’t about comparing people.  It isn’t about talking about “who wore it better”, it’s about celebrating people and style.  I was heartened to hear one of Bill’s colleagues tell of how he left a magazine that used a series of his photographs of everyday women in designer clothing to poke fun at how the women didn’t measure up to the runway models in those same styles.  I couldn’t help but smile as Bill swatted away a young man who tried to edit the ageing decolletage of one of his subjects, saying that she was beautiful and it would be a shame to cover her up.  This is a man who sees beauty in all sizes, ages and colours.  And that is such a far throw from what’s usually presented in a documentary about fashion.  It gave me cause to cheer.

Bill Cunningham is a hero of mine because he has paved the way for fashion bloggers like myself.  He is a positive force who promotes what I believe to be the true essence of style.  And he’s just so darn cheeky.  It’s hard not to like him, really.

A geeks guide to online dating: your profile name.

Ok, so it’s been a couple of weeks since we discussed choosing the right picture for your online dating profile.  Now I think it’s about time we had a chat about picking out a profile name that will work for you.


It might seem like a small thing, but your profile name can actually have a big impact on who clicks on your dating profile.  Choosing the wrong name could mean driving away potential matches.  So how should you go about picking a user name?  Here’s my top tips.

Don’t go with a generic moniker

Your name should be interesting enough to draw in a potential match.  It doesn’t have to be entirely original or covered in metaphorical stardust but it should be the tiniest bit clever or witty.  I get so turned off by people who choose the generic computer-suggested user names.  I am very unlikely to click on a profile named “Your name-in-a-box” or “Such-and-such-taco”.  These are the names that OK Cupid throws out when your preferred user name is taken.  To me, that just seems too dull and I wonder if you put any thought at all into creating your profile.  Trust me, a little bit of wit and originality will go a long way.

Avoid names that scream “I’m a douchebag”

There are certain phrases that induce an automatic eye-roll when I read them in a dating profile.  And when those phrases pop up in someone’s user name, I’m instantly running for the hills.  The chief phrase is the dreaded, “But I’m a nice guy”.  In my experience, Nice Guys don’t need to constantly tell you how nice they are.  Generally the ones who constantly harp about what a “nice guy” they are tend to be the same dudes who are whining about how the girls they like always “friendzone” them.  Don’t be that guy.  Using the phrase “Nice Guy” in your profile name will get you nowhere with me.  I’ve seen dudes who call themselves things like “Justaniceguy” or even once “Ipromiseimnice”.  To me these just read as a bit creepy and desperate.  If you want your profile to have a chance of being read by a woman worth her salt, don’t use douchey phrasing in your profile name.

Unless you’re looking for casual sex, avoid sexual terms and euphemisms.

I should point out that there is nothing wrong with seeking out casual sex.  If that’s what you’re after, then I don’t judge you for it.  But when it comes to dating, that’s not what I’m looking for.  So if I see a user name that is sexually explicit, I tend to skip over that profile.  Using sexual terminology in your username gives the impression that you’re looking for a hook up.  So if you want more than just a one night stand, I’d advise against using any sexy lingo in your profile name.

Jokes and geeky references will get you everywhere

Do you want to know a secret?  I love to laugh.  (OK, that’s not a secret.  But it’s the truth).  And I’m a massive geek.  So if I see a user name that gives me the giggles, or alludes to one of my favourite fandoms, I’m going to give it a click.  In those cases, I want to get to know a bit more about the clever-trousers who thought up the hilarious profile name.  If you are a bit of a geek, it definitely pays to use a funny or pun-tastic user name.  Not only will it attract like-minded people, but it will draw in more potential matches than if you just used some generic user name.  It doesn’t have to be super sophisticated, just silly or witty enough to generate a giggle in your future sweetheart.  Some great user names I’ve seen include:  Mr Snrub, George Glass and Duke Silver, just to name a select few.

Should you use your real name?

This is a bit of a sticky topic.  On the one hand, using your real name means that you don’t have to think up a witty nickname.  However it does leave you open to unwanted familiarity.  It’s entirely up to you, but I’d suggest keeping your real name to yourself, at least at the beginning. Then when you’ve chatted to someone for a bit you can reveal your true identity if you feel comfortable doing so.  It’s entirely up to you, but I’d be wary about using your real name as your user name.

Do you have anything to add?  What are some of your pet peeves and greatest draws when it comes to dating profile usernames.

5 Fandom Friday: My favourite Halloween episodes.

Whoops-a-daisy!  I’ve managed to get well behind with Five Fandom Friday. When I finally got my butt into gear and sat down to check out the list of prompts, I noticed that there are no new ones past the 30th of October.  So while I wait for the next lot of prompts to be released, I’m going to backtrack to last week’s prompt and talk about my favourite Halloween episodes of television shows.  Ready?  Let’s do it.

  1. Friends: The One with the Halloween Party

This Halloween special ranks at the top of my list for a single reason.  It’s not because of the guest appearance by Sean Penn (although that’s fabulous).  It’s not because it features a stand-off between Monica dressed as Catwoman and Phoebe dressed as Supergirl (although that’s amazing).  It’s because this is the episode that coined one of the most ridiculous costume ideas, which in turn inspired a post on this blog that to this day gets a crazy amount of visitors.  That costume?  Slutty Leatherface.  Thankyou, Joey Tribbiani for an apt commentary on the pressures on women to be sexy at Halloween.



2. Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Halloween

Although Buffy had a range of fantastic Halloween specials, I enjoyed this one the most.  I adore the concept of all of the characters becoming their costumes.  Willow becomes a ghostly spectre of her former self (although dressed in a pretty provocative outfit that she covered with a sheet because she was too shy around Zander) and Zander turns into a tough-as-leather army commando (providing important training and knowledge that will stand him in good stead for the rest of the series).  The best part though is seeing the intensely capable Buffy turn into a simpering Victorian maiden for the whole episode.  It’s just such a departure from her usual character and makes for very entertaining viewing.


3. Freaks and Geeks: Tricks and Treats

The reason I adore this episode is that it’s the reason I fell head over heels for Mrs Weir from the Freaks and Geeks series.  Mrs Weir became one of my favourite characters, because I could relate to her anger at the state of the world and the way it had changed since she was a kid.  Who among us hasn’t felt a pang of sadness when we look at how things have altered since we were little?  In addition to that, this is the episode that highlights the beautiful relationship between Lindsay and her mother, which grew as the series progressed.  Also, it’s impossible to watch this episode without giggling at Bill’s Bionic Woman costume.



4.  American Horror Story (Coven): Fearful Pranks Ensue

While the whole lot of American Horror Story is blood-curdling, this episode takes the cake.  I’m a zombie fan, and Marie Laveau’s zombie minions are seriously creepy.  Rather than just a pack of mindless living corpses, Laveau’s zombies are more like undead puppets.  She owns something belonging to each of them, and can control them so that they carry out her wishes.  When she sets them upon the Miss Robichaux’s academy, it is a terrifying moment.  In addition to that, we also see the grisly background story for Spaulding, the mute butler, which I find chilling.



5. The Office: Costume Contest

As someone who adores Halloween parties and dressing in costume, I’m always a tiny bit peeved by that party pooper who tends to wear the lamest, laziest costume possible.  In The Office, that person is always Jim Halpert.  Jim seems to go to great lengths to avoid dressing up in costume, even when everyone else is done up in elaborate Halloween getups.  So it’s a great victory when his wife finally gets him to dress up in an actual costume.


What are your favourite Halloween TV specials?


Things I Love Thursday 5/11/2015

Oh Thursday, how I love thee.  Not only do you signal the tail-end of the working week but you’re the perfect opportunity to sit down and count my blessings.  This week I love:

  • The Making of a Man by Maxim Februari. I devoured this book in an evening and I’ve been telling everyone about it since.  It’s written by transgender philosopher who talks candidly about his life as a man and his transition into masculinity.  It gives some excellent discussion points about transsexuality and it’s a fantastic and thought-provoking read.

Halloween hair. #halloween #dailyoutfit #bighair

A photo posted by Vanessa Bowen (@nessbow64) on


  • Big hair for Halloween.  I watched Ghostbusters the night before Halloween and I felt it only right to pay tribute to my favourite character: Egon Spengler.  I miss Spengler’s crazy do’ from the cartoons, and I felt that this massive pompadour was a fitting tribute.
  • Jaffa cake.  Delicious.
  • Bare feet and red toenails.
  • Four day weekends!  My boss decided to close the office on Monday.  Tuesday was a public holiday for Melbourne Cup Day so I got a delicious four days of relaxation.  It was just what the doctor ordered.
  • Scottish accents.
  • Re-watching some of the classic Disney films: Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and Pinocchio
  • Finding the most perfect present for one of my friends for Christmas.
  • Gorgeous op shop trunk.

    A photo posted by Vanessa Bowen (@nessbow64) on

  • This stunning carved trunk I found at the op shop. Sadly it had already been sold so I couldn’t take it home for myself.  It would have made the most perfect home for my winter blankets.  Ah well, I hope it’s new owner has something wonderful to place inside it.
  • Turkey and cranberry baguettes
  • The best part about this vintage babe? Pockets! #thrifting #vintage #dress #pockets

    A photo posted by Vanessa Bowen (@nessbow64) on

  • Finding this beautiful floral dress at the thrift store for just $4.  I haven’t worn it out yet, but I promise that I’ll post pictures when I do. It’s made of cotton and it’s so light and cool.  I can imagine that I’ll wear this to work a lot once Summer hits.
  • The final count-down to Christmas.

What are you loving this week my darling?