Gift Shopping Advice

Hello everyone and welcome back to Nerdy Shique Universe! I know it’s a bit late for this but I am re-posting my Gift Shopping Advice on here on Word Press! Why a re-post? Well, I decided to put this on here in case you guys need help again and plus I have new tips to add to this list which will below! And I know the shopping season is supposed to be short this year but hey, why not do it when Black Friday is here and everyone is camping out right now, which I apologize for the delay, but at least the first tip will let you guys know for next year! Enjoy!
1. Don’t Need For a Camp Out for Great Deals! Like I said above and will elaborate on this since a lot of crazy people tend to camp out for the Black Friday sales when a lot of people tend to shop online or just go for newer deals, which is true. Reason being is that the Black Friday early sales that people camp for are nuts! As in, they tend to hurt others and even go to extremes when they don’t get what they want in the end, which I won’t go into detail. Not only that, it’s not worth missing football and turkey altogether for a deal on laptops because you can get that same product for a better deal as new sales come around during the holiday season. You know that Canon camera I mentioned Above? Well, let me use that as my example for this tip. Okay, two years ago I noticed my Polaroid, well for a long time, that my pics keep on getting crappier everytime since I have to set the camera up all the time, I even had my brother set up the camera but didn’t help out since my pics for the con season of 2010 only had four, yes FOUR pics that were the best. Pathetic isn’t it? At least one of them was with David Yaust from Mighty Morphen Power Rangers! So, I decided to ask for a new camera and went with my dad to Best Buy to show which one I want him and my mom get me (even though my mom backed out which is another tip later) and it cost $150 for the one I decided on but he found a better deal for a sale that went on and it had better features and it was $20 more than the one I wanted. Yes, thanks to that sale Best Buy had, I got one for a better deal three, THREE, weeks before Christmas. We didn’t have to camp out for it either. Plus, if a store tends to sell out of the product, they tend to order you the exact same item so you can pick it up from their delivery service or you can go onto their website and find it there and order it and have it shipped to your house in time for Christmas! See, no camp out required. Speaking of the online ordering…
2. Order Gifts Early! I can’t stress this enough because mail services and UPS get flooded during December, especially around Christmas! Why do I say it with exclamation mark? Well, a few years back I ran into a similar situation but the thing I ordered was an international order, which this tip would help if you are ordering something from an international seller on Ebay, Amazon, and any of the retailer sites that ship internationally because time zones are different all around the world, especially in Asia! Anyways, back to my story, I was getting my fiancé the World World World album by his fave Japanese band, Asian Kung Fu Generation, that came out during that year. I order it from a Hong Kong seller with a 100 % positive feedback. I don’t know if I put neutral to this guy but I blame it on the mail service because it took a month to get to my home! Yes, I ordered it in November which was a great time to do it for the holidays and it took until a week before my fiance’s birthday, which is three days before Christmas and was getting it for for his birthday by the way, and was worried it won’t make it on time. So, order as early as you can, even after the holidays if you have conventions in Janurary-March for new cosplays.
3. Choose the Shortest Shipping Time If Possible! I know the first tip was new and so is this one in light of the last tip and mentioning of finding items you are looking for in the first, but this is also important for online shopping! How so? Well, a lot of retailers tend to give you shipping times that are short, as in either next day or 2-3 day shipping, I know a lot of people will say “it’s too expensive!” Well, to tell you the truth from someone who has shopped on retail sites during the holidays it’s worth it! How so? Well, even though you pay more but it will get the item to you in time for Christmas and if anything you ordered that may break will also be in tact! I had a perfume bottle leak on me when I ordered during Lush’s limited perfume sale and I chose the two week shipping option when it was a month before Christmas this sale was happening and they gave me a new bottle within two days and no leaking! And for any Lush shoppers, the two days will guarantee sometimes that your bath items and anything that melts get to you in tact as well. If it doesn’t you can get a refund or a credit. Anyways, this shipping tip will help out the most when you are also running out of time and it will get to you by Christmas Eve if you order two or three days before then, so I am not encouraging the wait til Christmas Eve but encourage the shortest shipping time, especially with international retails!
4. If Someone Back Outs On a Gift, Have a Backup Plan! Remembere when I mentioned my mom backed out on the camera two years ago? How did I remedy that? I had a backup and it was new shoes even though I had to go with her to Shoe Carnival, which I will tell that next, but there are times if you try doing a bundle gift, whether it being from parents or friends, or even siblings (it happens), there are times of someone backing out from that gift! It won’t only piss off the person receiving said gift, but there is always a back up that tends to happen and you should do that if you have that kind of family or friend that does that. For example, if you ask your friends for a joint gift of a new electronic and a friend backs out, tell them you were eyeing a new purse or earrings at Forever 21 as a back up gift, it will be affordable even if the item goes on sale during the holidays or even on Christmas Eve. So, back up gifts help!
5. When Buying Clothes or Shoes, Ask For the Size and Actual Size! As in, NO GUESSING! Why? Because there are times when the person is not the size you get or the person loses weight or gains weight and has a new size within that time period. As you know, getting clothing or shoes is the worst thing on someone’s list or an assumption of getting especially if the person doesn’t like a certain brand. Which I should also point out that not all brands fit every size group as well. Let me give you a story, so back in 2004, I was a size XL back then and I asked for a HURLEY sweater for Christmas from my mom and got it and it fit until after a few washes later, it didn’t fit anymore and it fits my mom fine! So, I decided to never wear any surf companies since their clothing brand doesn’t fit my size group, as in the big and muscular group. Yeah, my sis-in-law didn’t know that until five years later when I was a size large and still losing weight. So, my mom asked her to get me money and I wasn’t going to South Carolina with my parents that year because I had my orientation for UCF that year fall during a surprise trip to SC when I didn’t know about it. So, we got our gifts from her and mine was a gray HURLEY sweatshirt in HER size! Yes, she is a medium and she thought I was a medium as well, but to me I felt cheated and thought it was a gift for herself, I think I will make a tip about that or dealing with that later, but still I tried selling it on Ebay but no buyers. So, it was sold in a garage sale for $5. I know it sounded ungrateful but seriously, you should not buy clothing for anyone without KNOWING their EXACT size. I am emphasizing this because not everyone fits in actual size groups. This would bring up another new tip even if it deals with clothing.
6. Keep the Receipts, From Online Shopping and Mall Shopping, In Case Something Doesn’t Fit! This would have been handy with the HURLEY sweatshirt my sis-in-law or at least tell what place online where you got it from would also help. How so? After that incident, I thought my sis in law bought it at Pac Sun and they told me that they NEVER carried it. Yes, a place that carries HURLEY all year round tells me they never carry that product and I did ask her where she got it from exactly, guess what led me to selling it? She ignored me and my e-mails, even asking for gift cards for now on (yeah, she is very stubborn and likes avoiding us and any gift advice, seriously!). Anyways! This will help out in any needed returns or exchanges that may be made after Christmas! Anotther thing, have these receipts on hand to hand whoever got this gift that didn’t fit so they can exchange for something fits and possibly better since most people would get something else that they like better than what they got before. What about an online store? Well, like I said in the beginning of this tip, tell them that you got it from the company site if you did that, such as if you got the item from Hurley’s site, go there and contact them directly (I should’ve done that but didn’t know it was really from there in the first place, whoops! But I still got $5 in the end) because the company will gladly take it back through the mail tags and all! Yes, I had that happen to me with a Tofu Records release and they took it back and exchange it for what I was wanting in the first place since Suncoast tagged it wrong and this was during their close out sale.
7. Gift Cards and Money = Best Gift Ever! Yes! These help out tremendously, especially birthdays! How so? Well, with gift cards and money, the person you’re giving it to can buy whatever they want, but with the gift cards, make sure it’s for a store they like! For example, give them a Best Buy gift card if they go to Best Buy for their music or want to get an Ipod if they were saving for one. Another example, if you have a friend that loves going to Forever 21 get them a gift card for that place! What if you’re undecided and don’t want to get them money from your account? Well, there are gift cards that Visa and American Express make! As in, they act like a retailer gift card and you put the money on it and you can just go anywhere and use it. Then there are also some retailers that put amount gift cards on their web page, like Hot Topic did with a $100 Invader Zim gift card! Another thing about that, if you get a gift card based on a fave book series or tv show, that person can keep the card as a collector’s item for all time. I am not sure if Visa and American Express does custom ones, but it would be cool if they did but if you still want to go down the money route, still do that since you can get anything or just save it for a con or something you wanted before.
8. Pay Attention to What the Person Likes! I put this in my MySpace post ya few years ago and this is very important especially with any new in-laws that are married into the family, unless if they got to know you very well! When someone comes to your room, your room reflects your interests! Example, I have anime things like figures in a display case and in package that are rare and even a wallscroll and plushies as well. Hell, I even have Fractale still out in my TV cabinet. This will tell you that the person loves anime or with comic books, having posters of superheroes for either franchise as another example. This gives you the obvious alarm and you should try to find things that fit or ask someone what they want within that genre, whether it being a trade of a comic or a movie they haven’t picked up yet when it came out on DVD and Blue Ray, and many other things. It can also help out with the ideas of cosplay items that a person needs if they are planning to do a character they like, for example, what if someone did Harley Quin from Batman and missing the mask, it’s easy to find online by looking around at party stores or even online on E Bay. Or just make it yourself by taking measurements of the person’s head to make sure it fits their head! (IE the tip above). Or if they are missing the make up, Party City tends to have the clown make up year round and it will save your friend or spouse the hassle from looking all over before the con.So, yeah, pay attention to the interests, it will help!
9. When Buying Cosmetics or Bath Items, Know the Skin Type and Allergy! I always ALWAYS always stress this on the Lush wall! Especially with last year when I told a lady who gave her niece and nephew a Golden Wonders bath bomb (it is basically a present looking bath bomb that has blitters and champagne scents to it) and they had a bad reaction to it and the girls working at her Lush told her that it was safe for kids! It can but it is not safe for all kids. How so? I always tell everyone this, even when shopping at Target, Bath and Body Works, and other places for these types of things is that NOT EVERYONE HAS THE SAME SKINTYPE! This even goes for kids! Why I say this with kids as well? Because when we are young, around the age range of toddler-around 10 we don’t know what skin type we have until we reach puberty when our biology goes out of whack. Plus, a lot of kids get allergies early in life and tend to have it to a lot of things like nuts and chocolate as an example, which we have to be careful especially with skin! With something like the Golden Wonders, probably the kids were having a bad reaction to the glitters in it or what was in the middle of the bath bomb, but we never know until we ask the parents to see if they are allergic to things. Yes, the parents will know these things since they tend to detect something is wrong with the kid before the doctors do and this can have someone look up a product to see what the ingredients are contained and look into it more, internet is good for research! The skin type also goes for adults as well since we tend to have weird reactions to certain products as well, like how I got a rash on my arm from the Luster dust as an example, which I can tell someone not to get any dusting powders for me for Christmas. Another thing is, I am kind of doing this with the new Twilight shower gel, buy a size of a product or sample it before buying it for good since some places tend to sell smaller sizes for sampling or want to take a look at skin effects for months, it it doesn’t work then give it to someone who doesn’t have weird reactions or wanted the item to try it in the first place. This will help out with any bad effects that may happen, even with perfumes.
10. Preorder Items Even If They Come Out Next Year! This will help out tremendously on this list because there are times when someone wants something, whether it being a movie or a video game, wants and won’t come out until after the holidays.If it comes out before the holidays, you can preorder it so you can have it for gift wrapping and if it comes out afterwards, still do it because you will have it on release day waiting for pick up. This happens a lot with video games since a lot of companies tend to release their games after the New Year rolss around and a lot of the New Year sales are crazy, so I would suggest the preordering as well. I will be doing it with Ninja Storm 3 since I know my fiancé would like to know it will be his after the New Year.
11. If Candy As Gift, Tend To See or Ask What They Like! This tends to happen because not everyone has the same taste in food, that goes the same with candy! My mom is a great example since around Christmas they come out with a special kind of chocolate that she loves despite her hating chocolate (and yet she eats Baby Ruths and peanut butter cups). As you know, candy stores, especially Godiva Chclatier, are the most popular places with candy. Even in the holiday candy aisles in stores like Walgreens, CVS, and Target are overrun by people finding stocking stuffers for the kids and the kids at heart! I can imagine the M&M store in Florida Mall being especially busy on Christmas Eve with people getting big bags of America’s fave thing. Also, make sure the candy you get is in the right bins. I am adding this because in certain places with those drop tubes candy gets mixed when they are so close together. Good example is the big candy store in the Disney Village part of Downtown Disney, not sure if it’s still open, but I ran into a problem where the cookie dough bites and raisinets were RIGHT next to each other. I hate raisins but I do love cookie dough, ask my fiancé even. So, when I thought my dad retrieved the cookie dough bites, later I tasted raisins! So yeah, it looks like raisinets got into the cookie dough bite tube and this is after we got them home across town. As said, make sure it’s the actual thing the person likes, even when going to a Fudge Shop.
12. Speaking of which…Waiting for Certain Items Like Candy Until After Christmas Is Awesome! Why? Awesome deals and sales! If you didn’t get the item you wanted and camped out for, the store tends to have awesome deals after Christmas, even after the New Year since they are trying to empty the old inventory to make room for the new. For candy, there tends to be a great deal on the finer chocolates that my mom goes for, even at Godiva, but mostly people go for the deals on the awesome candy canes they like, the chocolate mint ones from Hersheys for example. Plus, they added new things since last Christmas and boy does everyone get major cravings, even the chocolate coins for Channakah are on sale after Christmas. Still, as said, a lot of stores want to empty the holiday inventory as fast as they can and also get rid of the old for the new after New Years.
13. WHow to Deal With a Gift for Oneself Dilemma. Yes, I did this one year when Bleach merch came to Hot Topic and was getting something for my fiancé we were starting to go out. I do admit I did pick up a Urahara plushie and a pair of Naruto gloves with the leaf sumbols on them for my fiancé that time (yes, the Know What tThey Like tip came from that since I didn’t know much about him that time) and didn’t fit him and I ended up with them for a costume, but this happens! How to deal with it? First, if you end up in a pickle of getting something for someone and they ask for something that is a cosmetics item or a candy thing, or whatever, and you see something you like, you can either get it another time after the holidays or pick it up while you’re there if it won’t be around, which items tend to sell out during the holiday rush! Not only that, there tends to be a two-for-one deal at some places and you can ask for assistance in knowing if the deal covers an item that you want and the item you’re getting for that person will work, if it does, go with that deal. Trust me, shopaholics tend to go through this a lot, I even went through the same dilemma at Lush when I got a bath bomb for a friend while be surrounded by my fave items and new stuff. Having a tolerance to this would try and keep the impulse buying from happening knowing that it might be on sale after the holidays or before then. And two, if it came from someone else and it wasn’t want you like and someone else likes that item, you can give it to them and go to the store that person went to to get something else (seen it happen before). And You already read the receipt keeping tip, so I won’t explain that again. And if that person that gave you that gift felt like it was more for that person, as said above, sell it or give it back to that person, knowing them, they will gladly accept if you did that (like my sis-in-law, but I didn’t go there!)

New Tips!

14. Holiday Conventions are a Good Destination! Yes, my newest tip deals with conventions! It feels as though that some parts of the country are doing conventions a month before the holiday season or during the shopping season, like with Holiday Matsuri which I am going to this year for one day which would help me out in the what to get my fiance for Christmas department and behold! If you remembered how I mentioned the tip on observing what the person likes, the conventions are best to do that since whatever theme it is you can get something awesome for them in the dealer room whichever day you go on or the entire weekend if you have more than one person you want to get something for for the holidays!
15. Do Stocking Stuffer Type Wrapping If the Gift is Small! Reason why I would say this is that there are times when gifts being given are small and a lot of people don’t want to use the gift wrap so I decided to do this one year for a friend that I bought a bath bomb for and my fiance when I got his wallet one year and used stockings as my gift wrap! It is cute and it does save money, especially if you go to Dollar Tree or WalMart for the stockings for these gifts! You don’t have to go huge, just standard size. Plus, you can also get other small gifts to go in there, like get some candy to go with it or lip balm, if you have a gal pal, go with a lip gloss from Bath and Body Works if they like a particular flavor or scent! Do little things to add to it because it gives something extra!
16. Specify Where Your Gifts Are Located! Why I suggest this is there are times where parents or friends don’t know where they can find an item or some places don’t carry items like many other places do, so tell them where to find it! For example, I have to tell where to find my gifts on the list for my dad since last year’s thing with the Nicole Richey perfume and the holiday LipSmackers, had to make sure he went to Macy’s and Kmart for them! Well, also the Jewel Crush minis, forgot those too, still this year I did it again! It will help out!
17. Specify What the Item You Want Looks Like! There are times when items you want or need have to be specified since there are a lot of products that aren’t the same and need to say what you want or the item may be wrong or won’t be found unless the person knows what it is, such as what kind of scarf it is or what kind of IPod it is, etc.
So, that’s my tips! I hope you all enjoy my tips and also take this advice because there are people out there that need gift help or at least too stubborn to listen to you, if you have anyone that needs help, link them here! I love doing this! Well, I am off! Til next time!

September and October Favorites Plus Collective Haul

Hello everyone and welcome back to Nerdy Shique Universe! Finally got around to it despite it being a bit late due to doing the Panel Hosting Tips, which newsflash is going to be on a panel idea list because me, my fiance, and our friend Tobi, along with his girlfriend are thinking of going for three panels for Metro and I have been brainstorming ideas on our end and will see what Tobi and GF will think of on their end. Anyways, so, September and October passed and that means it’s time for favorites! I don’t have much and well I also have a collective haul, which this will be haul and faves yet again! Let’s start shall we?

Bath and Body Works

Vanilla Bean Noel shower gel: I know what you guys may say, “Isn’t that a Christmas item?” Yes it is! Why do I have this? Well, my future mommy-in-law gave me this along with the lotion and body spray for my birthday this past year since she bought the set after Christmas and saved it for me and man the shoer gel is loves! I remembered when the lotion was too strong to my mom and didn’t like it, so I used it and fell in love despite the strength but later on it did change to a lighter smell and oh man it smells exactly like vanilla frosting! I feel like I want to make cupcakes and put vanilla frosting on them after smelling this! Like the lip gloss and the various vanilla flavored LipSmackers glossy balms, this is one of many fave vanilly smells I will ever love! Along side the Vanillary perfume from Lush and Burberry Brit perfume. Still, love this scent and sad that I ran out and who knows if I will get another bottle for Christmas! I am hoping so since I get surprised by what my fiance’s mom gets me for my birthday and Christmas from Lush and Bath and Body! Let’s see what happens this year!

Black Heart Beauty

Blue and black sparkly eyliners: Yes, yet again Black Beauty has appeared on the faves list and it is two more of their sparkly eyeliners and they are in black and blue! I love these eyeliners because you can put them on top your regular eyeliner and give it a nice sparkly touch, which I put it on my lower eye line to give it a pop and I have hard times putting liner on the top but it looks better on the bottom anyways. I would recommend these liners and I am hoping they don’t get fazed out like the crackle polishes, which sucks and should come back! These are awesome liners, get them while you can!

Hot Topic

Death the Kid Tee: A fave from Hot Topic, like with the eyeliners, I got this with my Hot Cash when it was still available to be used at the time and used the first two coupons to get the eyeliners, this t-shirt, and one more fave since we had three of them (my fiance got me the Iron Man 3 hoodie for my birthday so he got two) and that is the Death the Kid tee where he takes on more of his dad’s appearance! It is in anime form as well, which I heard there will be OVAs of the story’s ending being made in the future since the anime kind of ended like how the original FMA series did but I am glad that there will be more Soul Eater and get to see what else happens in the manga since more stuff happens there! Moving on, as you know Kid is my fave character in Soul Eater and had a hard time finding items to get with Hot Cash until my fiance pointed this out with an Ouran High tee but the Oran High didn’t fit but we ordered the Kid shirt in an XXL since these are tiny tees and Hot Topic, like other places, expect us girls to be tiny and petite (stop that stores, you’re killing me) and I am not tiny! I remembered the days when I could fit in baby dolls and now that I am built with muscle, have to get big sizes for me to fit in! The verdict of the size was that it does fit and I love it! He is very symmetrical on me. For anyone built like an amazon like me, I would suggest going for the XXL or XXXL since they would fit us more than a regular size since it would help and if they don’t have it, they will order the item for you and get it sent to your place or at the store, best to get it sent to the store because it’s Free Shipping! If you can’t make it out to a Hot Topic near you, just have it shipped to you and the shipping rate is the same as the site. Still not bad of a find!

Hello Kitty

Sanrio X Street Fighter backpack: My fave backpack this month is a Sanrio X Street Fighter backpack that features all the Sanrio characters as Street Fightter characters and it shows the face of Hello Kitty and her ears and bow at the top. It is very cute! If you remembered I mentioned I got Hello Kitty as a plush as Chun Li, well, I tried finding Kerropi as Blanca since he is my fave character but they didn’t have him and the girl who helped me decide shown me this and got it! It is like a regular school bag but bigger! I love it and I even used it at the Japan Day Festival since after the last time I had to carry the souvenirs two years ago in my purse, it was very hard and the backpack was a lot easier! I may use it when I go see Thor this weekend! I was able to find the Blanca Kerropi plush online but they are selling it for $85 and it is the special edition Toonami one and don’t want to get it, I am hoping they get the regular one they sold in Hot Topic which is the 6 inch one I believe, but at least I got Chun Li Kitty and the backpack!

Halloween Nail Look:

I thought it would be best instead of fave nail polish to say what are my fave Halloween nail looks for this year since Halloween just passed and I went Sinful crazy along with getting two of the Halloween WNW sets, which I will mention below in the haul and my fave nail looks are two and they are my Blair the Witch nails and the glow in the dark nail polish with black crackle! Let me start with the glow nails! The thing was that during October, I read G’s post about the Tombstone polishes for this year and the new Wild Shine polishes for Halloween and since I got the Wild Shine polishes (which featured neon ones and they are Frank Is Mine, Vengeful Bride, Werewolf Vision, Jail House Shock, and two others which I forgot) and decided to get the Tombstone ones on Ebay like I did with the Wild Shine since here in Florida they rarely get any limited edition stuff, especially really nice items! So, the same person I got the Wild Shine ones from also sold the four newer ones and they are Glow With the Flow, which is the glowing one, Once Upon A Time, which is a re-release but it is silver this year instead of black with red, Ghouls Rush In, and Darkest Hour, then after getting these I came up with an idea and that is to paint my nails with the glow one and the black crackle polish on top by Sinful, which I used the OPI crackle on top of Jail House Shock and it looked okay, I guess it was how it looked and how the orange polish (Jail House Shock btw) looked together, but Glow With the Flow and Sinful Black Crackle looked amazing together! Even my nails glowed after painting them in the bathroom when I was in the dark! I would get the Tombstone polishes again since these are not only popular but they do have the same consistency as a Wet N Wild polish since they are from Fantasymakers by WNW.

Blair Nail Look: For my costume this year I did Blair the Witch from Soul Eater but with a traditional witch dress and tights, I did have the hat already and didn’t want it it to go to waste and picked up the wig and broach online and then the rest at Party City and WalMart. With the nails, thought it would make it look awesome and the look I went with was my new Sinful Pumpkin Spice nail polish, which is golden glitter top coat, that came out in their Halloween display this year with Buffy the Violet Slayer by Wet N Wild’s Quick Dry line. It worked! Somehow Sinful and WNW work hand in hand since the polishes have nice consistency and I did pair the silver polish from the Quick Dry line with the black crackle last year and it worked and so did this! According to my fiance when he helped out (since I am visually impaired, it is hard for me to paint my nails and he decided to help out when I was doing them) it worked because of the orange sheen that Buffy gave off in the light goes with the Pumpkin Spice glitter and with the top coat, it makes them even on the nails! Why the purple instead of the black? Since I was wearing black for the dress and tights and Blair does have purple hair and some on her hat, I thought it would give a nice change and pop and the Pumpkin Spice name does fit with her since she uses pumpkin spells! Go and get Pumpkin Spice if you can, you may have to go online since it is a nice nail polish!

Sally Hansen

Ultra Shield top and base: I did say I would change my top and base sometime soon and just did and had to say goodbye to Double Duty! I hated how Double Duty dried halfway through the entire bottle without using it up and I needed something new! I heard about the Ultra Shield one being good and so far so good I like it! It doesn’t go dry as fast as the Double Duty did and hoping it doesn’t since Sally Hansen is supposed to be a good company with their products and so it was time to change and doesn’t make sense it would dry halfway through. Anyways, good product and see how it goes from here.

Song

“Hail to the King” by Avenged Sevenfold: Even though I missed them when they performed at the Amway last month but the new A7X song is amazing! As you know I like Avenged Sevenfold and have gotten their first two albums not too long ago and liked how the music sounds except for one song and that is on their “City of Evil” album because it kind of scares me but some of their other songs are big faves until this new one appeared on the radio around this time and it calls back to “Nightmare” and it does have that heavy sound you would expect from them like in “Afterlife” and “Bat Country” have and I could imagine how well the band performed it live downtown. Why didn’t I see them? School early morning the next day and it was going to be hard getting out of bed the next morning and my fiance had to work the night of the concert, but always next time! I will get my hands on their new album in the meantime when I find it!

Snacks and Candy

Ramune gummies: I had these since we had to go to MetroCon and bought them when we got Pocky for Scott McNeill and decided to try them and love them! As you know that Ramune is a big thing for me, especially when it comes to candy! I loved the gummies and hoping I get these again!

Soda flavored Hi-Chew: I mentioned these when I bought them at MythiCon and they are the cola flavored and Ramune flavored Hi-Chew since I love Hi-Chew, the snacks guy had these and they are awesome! They are like the sour lemon ones which they have crystals inside the chew and they are the flavor crystals and they are like what they are supposed to be! I mixed them in with the golden kiwi ones in my other Pokemon container that came with my Pokemon Movie 2000 lunchbox I found and they are still fresh from when I bought them, well Hi-Chew do stay long since they are chewy candies and better tasting than the chewy ones here in the states in my opinion.

Plum candy: Another pick up from the Asian store and finally got them and it was the plum candy by Kasugai! As you know Kasugai is a big company when it comes to candy, especially the gummie candies, and I found these! I meant to try these and was kind of skeptical since I had a few hits and misses and these weren’t a miss! They taste like Asian plum flavored green tea from Arizona when I used to buy cans of it when I was still at Valencia starting out and I loved the tea, but they didn’t sell it anymore which is a bummer. At least I found these and love the taste!

Well, that is it for my favorites and now onto my collective haul! I know I haven’t posted many hauls lately since school has been keeping me busy and I already mentioned what I did buy with Hot Cash coupons 1 and 2, but when I thought I lost my gauge backing on my blue star gauges we went back! I didget another pack of the blue ones and did get the red package ones as well since they did have their buy one for $20 and get one for $5 still, which was a steal! Then got my fiance his Captain America sheild finally! He wanted one last year ever since we got the hoodie and now he has it! So, yeah we had fun at a Halloween Party as Cap and Lucy, well Lucy from Fairy Tail of course!

Besides Hot Topic, I did get some things from the Asian market I always go to, Donga, since I was running out of bags of tea in the box that my fiance’s mom gave me and was able to get my usual green and white teas and decided to get peppermint this time and these teas have jasmine in them, which I like! I did get some snacks and candy and one of them was that plum candy I mentioned above and a few others! I got strawberry wafer cookies! These are by the same brand who did the cappuccino cream wafers that I got a year or so ago and I only used those to dip into cocoa since they were so strong and it gives an interesting mocha taste to the cocoa, so I decided to try something new from these guys and it was the strawberry wafers and they taste better than the American versions, which if you had those or remembered them like I do which those are very artificial and the strawberry flavor doesn’t come out so good and it is just sugar you taste but these you actually taste the strawberry flavor and the wafers aren’t too overbearing and goes very well! Another item I got was a pack of candies that are a mix soda candy pack, I think I got these before or not but they have flavors like coke, 7Up, and others but good! I got a gross raspberry candy that I didn’t like, I was hoping it would be like Kasugai’s candies but this was worse!! It even got worse towards the end! When I go through my bag and open one of these I will toss it. What made me happy about this trip in finding the candies was that I finally found green tea candy! I was looking all over and they finally restocked them and these were the ones I first tried and somehow after not having them for so long they taste better. I guess the formula changed not sure. I did get a box of Hello Kitty cookies, they taste like Teddy Grahams but sweeter and finally got these peanut butter and chocolate cluster cookies, which they taste pretty much like Reese’s and I enjoyed them!

Throughout September and October, I went through a major Sinful craze, especially with their 2 for $3 sale and this is what I got:

Tokyo Pearl: This is a re=release and so glad I found it because I used to have it when Sinful was in those old, cyndrical bottles and my mom asked me one day if I had a white polish and this was the only one since pearls are white and my mom didn’t like it after wearing it and don’t know why when she asked for white. She still held onto it to give it another try and tossed it after a while without me knowing until I asked a year ago about it. I am so glad I found a new bottle of it and it is in the newer ones and the same old color I loved. I know I don’t wear white polishes usually but this is an awesome color!
Black Magic: A replacement for an old Fingrs polish that was black and orange glitters, I found this one in the new Halloween display as well!
Pumpkin Spice: New Halloween one as well!
Opening Night
Out of This World
Silverscreen
Gorgeous: I tried finding this when Walgreens ended their summer $.99 sale but it wasn’t there anymore and finally found it again!
Strapped, Whipped, Laced Up, and Cool Leather: These are from the newer Leather Lux collection which makes your nails look like leather when you put it on. I meant to put Cool Leather in my faves but I decided to mention it among the other leather lux polishes! I recommend these since they have an interesting texture! According to Ebay, there is a gray, brown, and a berry color in these and hoping I can find someone with an entire set of these because I don’t mind getting the entire set since I can’t find the gray and berry ones and don’t mind having the brown since it has sparkles!
Rich In Heart
Irish Sea: This was from their St. Patrick’s Day line!
Fasceted: This was from their holiday collection from last year that was released for Halloween.
Let Me Go
Blue By You
Endless Blue
Enchanted

I also got two of the returning Pick Your Poison polishes and they are Lethal Injection, which is a red violet in the entire set, and Poison Ivy, which is the deep green one, which I should wear if I ever do a Poison Ivy cosplay! I couldn’t find the sixth one since the two of the Walgreens I went to only had the first five: Root of All Evil, Venomous Vixen, Toxic Apple, Lethal Injection, and Poison Ivy, not sure what was the sixth and almost bought an entire set on Ebay, maybe next time!

And finally WalMart which was more of a restock and I did get discounted candy, which was the first items I got and they were a big bag of mixed Reese’s, as in cups and pieces, then got a popcorn ball, and of course, caramel candy corn! I love the caramel candy corn and hoping Brach’s bring them back next year, I know it’s weird for someone who doesn’t like candy corn likes this. To each their own! I did have to get new earbuds for home and school since the ones I have had one break, which sucked! And had to restock on my sock drawer with new ones since I kept losing partners like always! I also got more cashews to take to school to snack on and did have to get more facial wash and decided to go with the one by Clean and Clear for Sensitive Skin, which I have! I had to get more of my gel liner in blue, I thought Maybelline would have their Navy Blue one but nope! I did find one in Sapphire but it looked like someone got into it so I went to L’Oreal to get the Aquamarine one I used and liked before and did get a new infolluble shadow in Soltry Smokes since I tried finding it at CVS during their December sale but didn’t and don’t know why, but found it at WalMart since it looked like it was about to hit pan after my L cosplay make up tutorial back on blogger!

Well, that was it! I am going to get my fiance to send me the questions and answers from those interviews and add two more tips to my gift shopping post and re-post it here on Word Press! Til next time!

Panel Hosting 102

Disclaimer: This post is based on opinion and observation and past observations of certain things! Please respect the author’s post!

Hello and welcome back to Nerdy Shique Universe! As promised I am posting the first ever Panel Hosting Tips! Yes, it’s time for it since Metro, well the horrible Fairy Tail panel and the certain commenter’s comment, I was inspired to do this post. Since I seen good and bad panels in the past, it is high time to give new panelists advice in hosting panels in the future since I am a panelist myself and have been since the first time Blind EXP was first hosted. I know Tsubasa Talk, another panel me and my fiance did in the past, that was kind of a fail and I will say why possibly in this post. But let’s see what my tips are in Panel Hosting 102! And also, I am opening up to comments to see if this should be a panel for any conventions since there are new panels being brought every year by attendees and new guests! So comment here or if not, on the Facebook areas I post the link to this blog! Let’s get started!

1. Come Up With a Good Concept! There are times when panelists come up with good ones and bad ones and once that good concept gets placed there are times it doesn’t go well when it is hosted! Panel concept planning is very important, especially if it is done with a group of people, because hosting the panel and getting it to the convention you want are the most important things of getting the concept together and getting it out there. On top of that, convention staff tend to look for panels that have a great concept since they want new and different panels being presented at their con and there are times when the audience want it back after attending it. So, try planning a a good concept and also if it’s a group thing, run it by the rest of the group so they can work on it more during the time before the convention once it gets accepted!
2. Pick A Good Time Slot! I know this sounds a bit of redundant if there are panel hosting things that were made in the past but this is also important because of how the convention is three days and getting a good size crowd to see your presentation is also important! What are the best time slots since I mention choosing a good one? Friday evening, Saturday Afternoon through Night Time and depends on the lingering crowd, Sunday afternoon after 12 O’ Clock and through the time before closing ceremonies! The first couple slots are best possible slots because hosting on a Friday afternoon after the convention opens is not great! Why? Because had it happen to the Blind EXP during 2011 when we hosted at dealer room open time and when everyone was checking into their hotel rooms when they reserved for Friday through Sunday. This is true because there are conventions held at convention centers or at hotels and there are times when people have Friday check-in times at around dealer room opening hours or a bit after opening ceremonies, depends on reservations being made for that weekend! And of course if people check in the day before, they want to head for the dealer room first and the crowds aren’t big during the afternoon. So, Friday evenings are the best along with Saturday! What about not getting the time you want? There are times when the panel staff can be worked with in finding a slot that would work, but be specific in saying you want a later slot on Friday or an early one for Saturday if it’s available since the convention hall will be filled by the time the dealer room opens. If only we kept our slot back in 2011 instead of being pushed earlier? ::sighs:: Thank you Metro! That’s another thing I need to add, if a convention has a service that lets you pick your slots, make sure the room that you want to host in doesn’t have other events in the slot you want! Trust me, had fun last year finding the slots for Blind EXP and True Tips and Tricks! Unless you have problems, try contacting the panel staff for help since they are there to help questions.
3. Have All Items and Bring Your Own Equipment That Is Needed! Why I make this one big tip is because it falls in the same idea. There are times when conventions get held at the convention centers and the parking lots are sometimes close by or if you have a hotel close by, you can get access to the items and equipment needed in your car. You can also carry the necessary cords and smaller equipment in your bags since it would be easier to carry, make sure you keep an eye on it if you carry the small stuff, especially back at the hotel room and keep it safe. If you’re in a group and staying with them, carpooling with bigger items will be handy, just ask before doing it and ask for the keys if you need to get the stuff before panel time. I would say go an hour to 45 minutes before the panel to get the stuff and have some help if necessary!
4. When Hosting an Anime Themed Panel, Read and Watch the Source Material Beforehand! Yes, research! Why? Knowing that there are a lot of panelists that want to do these kind of panels and there is the right way and the wrong way to do it and it is best to do it the right way! I seen good anime themed panels hosted in the past and one of them happened to be a DuRa Rara panel back at MegaCon 2011 and it was right before we had to do Blind Exp and what we caught was very informative! The hosts did their research and even answered questions with facts that the person didn’t know, for instance the series Bakano was one of the predecessors to DuRa Rara and we didn’t know that, we even took a look into it two months later and see how the gang idea came to be for DuRa Rara. What about a bad example? I know I will get the “Freed Cosplayer” (The quotes will be explained in the next tip!) is the Fairy Tail panel that me and my fiance and many others witnessed at Metro! How was it bad? If you haven’t read the Metro review, here it is, it felt as though that some people in the panel didn’t read the series or watched the anime and we heard bad fan fiction about the characters! Here’s some examples of that and the false statements about it:

• Lucy was arrested for prostitution: This was said when me and four or five other Lucy cosplayers were in the room and wearing the various other outfits that you see her wear in season 1 and the first part of season 2, but I was wearing the default outfit she wears and it is not that revealing, just a top, short skirt, belt slanted, pouch for keys, and knee high boots! I would understand Virgo would be a cuase for concern but not Lucy! Even there were some girls in the tank top and skirt she worn after the Nirvana Arc! Yeah, I understand they want to poke fun but not say that when there are Lucy cosplayers, plus I did offer to be a part of the panel, I should’ve gone up there anyways.
• Kana is a drunk: Which she is not! According to my fiance, she gets buzzed when she drinks a lot and the only time you really see her drunk, SPOILER!, is when she is at Lucy’s house drunk before the S-Rank exam and is depressed from failing it so many times and thought she wasn’t making her dad proud since he is S-rank himself. So, kana is not making the guild go broke since she has to go on missions herself like everyone else!
• Gray and Juvia In Love? Yeah, I know the two cosplayers as Gray and Juvia are actually a couple but to be in character is that Gray is indifferent about Juvia and is supposed to have Juvia do all the love stuff like in the anime!

What should the panel be like? It should be more of a way of Q&A like we had to do for Blind EXP at Metro, which we had people asking us questions about Fairy Tail more than at theother one since people got so mad and left! Plus, one bad thing of this is that people get told not to go to this panel, even our friend was told not go to the Fairy Tail panel and that is a bad sign. I would still give props to the Loki and Loxsus cosplayers, at least they knew the series, especially when Loxsus had looks of “WTF?” for all the fan fiction spouts. So, please research the titles you are presenting on! Hell, I would even do a DNAngel panel since I am a huge fan! (Knowing I may get requests for it too, I would do it despite I can’t read the manga anymore). Still, watch the anime since it does get streamed, even Funimation does it on their channel once it gets licensed and dubbed so you can get a better idea of the material that is being presented on. Another thing is that if anyone that is in your audience may not have heard about Series X they can check it out for themselves, which would give a nice add-on to the fanbase for the series. So, like what Jeriyah in Naruto does, RESEARCH YOUR MATERIALS!
5. When Cosplaying for the Panel, Get Your Cosplay Ready In Time for the Panel! Remembered when I put quotes around the Freed guy? Well, he didn’t cosplay for that Fairy Tail panel and I have to do this! Like Linkara says it…YOU FAIL! ::hits the fail button to emit a buzzer sound:: If this becomes an actual panel, we need to put that in there. Anyways, if you are hosting a panel with a group and going to cosplay as characters from the anime that was being presented on, get the cosplays complete in time for the convention! I know there are people out there that want to make their costumes look good and as detailed as possible but once the panel gets accepted, you really need to work on it and get it done before the convention arrives, even if you can get easy to find parts at Good Will and have to alter them. What if you can’t afford it like the “Freed Cosplayer” (I know you will comment on it but seriously dude, read my response to your comment), tell the group you can’t do it! A good amount of panelists are adults and will understand that you can’t get it due to lack of funds, especially when you are a broke college student surviving on ramen noodles! Unless you can try and improvise the costume, there may be time to get to a Good Will in the area and a wig shop before it closes when you check in or find the wig stands in the convention room, there are times when you can get a costume done on the spot. For instance, a girl made her Link costume in the dealer room at MythiCon. If you can’t do it, you can’t do it and just watch the panel in the audience.
6. Check Your Audio Equipment Before the Convention! There are times when audio equipment busts at the convention or breaks after using it a certain amount of times and it is a good idea to test it a month or two before the con and a few days to triple check that it works so your panel won’t become a flop and many other panelists’ panels won’t flop, so staff test yours as well since we need to use it. With new equipment you may need to buy, try testing that as well to see if the sound or even the projection works because there are times when items bought on the net and at the store get shipped broken or came in faulty and if this happens, keep your receipts, because there are Best Buys and Radio Shacks around the convention city that you can visit if necessary and call in about hours just in case if you need to get something replaced before going to the con or afterwards. Also double test if you need to use the convention equipment and have a volunteer as back up, because things can happen at these events and need to make sure it’s tip top shape before the panels start. SSo testing will come in handy.
7. When the Panel Flops, Try Having a Back Up Plan! So glad we did a Fairy Tail Q&A when Blind EXP flopped and did a debate thing instead at Tsubasa Talk (we didn’t know we had to talk to the guests at the con to get them to come) as a back up! Like many things when they go bad, there is always a back up plan and is best to go with that! If this had to happen, remember there is always next time and more conventions to sign up for! That is why we signed up for Holiday matsuri and still waiting, still we will come up with a back up if need be! What kind of back up things you should do? There are plenty, like what I mentioned before, Q&A’s, debates if the series kind of went weird or is on-going, or talk about cosplaying characters, there is so much you can do! Don’t do the bad fan fiction thing like I mentioned in tip 4! Still, a back up plan is always great when something flops!
8. Let the Guests Know About Your Panel! This tends to give them a bit of interest and can sometimes let their fans know that it exist if they can’t go! I did it with the Blind EXP when I met Crispin Freeman, John Swasey, and Dan Southworth when I first met him, heck even told Scott McNeill when he asked about my eye condition after our interview with him (don’t worry, still getting it from my fiance), still it shows the guests that you appreciate what they did for whatever series you are basing the panel on and sometimes other fans overhear and get interested, especially when they check their handy dandy convention guide so that they can check it out!

Well, that is it for my tips! Please comment if you want to see this live at a convention here in the comment box below and on Facebook when we post it! To the people who hosted that Fairy Tail panel, I know I was harsh on the panel but after reading what I had to say, especially with my tip on researching the series, I know you guys had fun but attendees and cosplayers left in how it was presented, especially with how mad the Lucy cosplayers were besides me. If you are going to do this panel again, please take these tips to heart so you can host it a lot better.

So, what’s next? I am still working with my fiance to get the interview stuff, but I will be doing my September and October Favorites in the meantime since it is already November! I know the year is slipping away from us again! Yes, I will be doing Bests and Worsts of 2013 again, but before that, I will be posting my Gift Shopping tips here and have new tips added to them so you can see what I have to say with gift advice! See ya next time!