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Duran Duran Is Responsible For My Hair Color

Duran Duran Is Responsible For My Hair Color

When I was born, I had a head full of dark hair. By the time I was a year, it had all fallen out and lighter hair grew in. (Oddly enough, my own daughter was the same way.) It was fairly light for a long time, but as I got older, it got darker.

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And, though it bummed me out, I was a kid. What was I going to do about it? I was stuck with it as far as I was concerned. Until I fell in love…

When I discovered John Taylor and Duran Duran, suddenly I felt the need to make my bangs blonde.


Thanks to this product, I could do it myself.sunin

Sadly (or thankfully, depending on how you look at it), I have no photos of my tragic hair mistake. What I do have is photos of what came next. See, I wasn’t able to keep it JUST to my bangs, and so to fix the mistake, I had to put the sun in EVERYWHERE.


My mother wasn’t crazy about the brassy/orange tone, so we went to a salon and I got highlights. The rest, they say, is history.


Here’s my senior portrait, highlights, bangs, and all.

Over the years, my hair has been several shades of blonde, and I decided to try going brunette at one point after I had my first child.


Eventually, that was too dark for me and my hair faded and my roots were lighter than my hair, which was the opposite problem that I usually faced.

For now, I feel more “myself” as a blonde. I suppose I’ll be blonde for several more years. At least until I decide to just let the gray take over. Until then, you can find me at the salon every few months.




Nerd Is The Word

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I wasn’t always a nerd. I mean, I suppose I was and just didn’t realize it. I didn’t attend conventions or read comics as a child, but I “geeked out” over so many things… Duran Duran, The Monkees, Wham, everything 60s, certain book series, and certain TV shows. Back when I was a kid, there wasn’t a great acceptance of being a geek or a nerd, so I guess I was less aware. But also, I’ve completely embraced it in the last 10 years. And now that there’s the internet, I can completely deep dive into things I love.

Things I’m a nerd/geek/fan of: Harry Potter, Star Trek, Star Wars, knitting, Superheroes, vampires, and more.

The first time we went to Comic Con was 2010. This was right before my first book was released, and my biggest motivation was that my publisher was going to be there, and they’d have some marketing materials for it.



We went in 2011 and then missed a few years, because we weren’t able to get tickets. In fact, we didn’t find ourselves with tickets again until last year.


Comic-Con 2016

It’s extremely hard to get tickets, and I know we’re lucky to get any at all, but one my goal is to get tickets for Saturday, where all the big panels I’m interested in take place. Nevertheless, Sundays are great for shopping and people watching.


What was under my Trek boots. 🙂


My youngest as Eleven.                                       The Trek couple.

My daughter and son’s homemade costumes – Batgirl and Clark Kent.


I visited the Outlander booth.


We bought some fun Star Wars art to hang in the house.


As cool as this coffee table was, I had to put my foot down.


We ran into Darth Trump


Heading for the train.

There seems to be more people attending every year, but I’m still going to try to come back next year. Maybe I need to find a way to volunteer, or work there, so that I can spend more than just a half-day there.


Yesterday, In A Galaxy Not So Far Away

I wasn’t always a Star Wars fan.

When I was 7 years old, my family went to see Star Wars in the theater. I remember thinking Luke was cute and wanting to be like Princess Leia, because she was both pretty and pretty strong. Yes, she did get captured, but she led the rebellion, knew her way around a gun, and wasn’t going to let any handsome scoundrel give her orders.

We saw The Empire Strikes Back and I know I was affected by it – I started writing a baseball parody called “The Umpire Strikes Back.” I lamented that my hair wasn’t long enough to put in braids like Leia. And at the age of 10 I could appreciate both Han Solo and Yoda. (I was a big Muppets fan.)

I honestly don’t remember much about watching Return of the Jedi as a child. Maybe I skipped that one? Maybe I just didn’t like it enough to remember it later on. When the movies were re-released in the 90s, I missed that one, because I was working when my husband (then boyfriend) saw it with friends. And when we were finally able to buy it on DVD, I couldn’t remember a lot of it – especially anything having to do with the Emperor.

When the prequels came out, I saw the first one with my husband. He was really excited about it, and I was curious to see how the Darth Vader story unfolded. When Episode II came out, I wasn’t super gung-ho to see it, as I was a mom of a toddler and was basically always tired. My husband really wanted to see it, so I welcomed him to see it without me and I saw it when he bought it on dvd later on. I saw Episode III on my own. I was pregnant with my youngest child and had one of THOSE days with my toddler and preschooler. My husband took one look at my tear-stained face and shooed me off to the movies and handled the kids while I ate popcorn and watched Anakin take his final steps to the Dark Side.

I liked the movie, but I didn’t fully embrace Star Wars until my son was 5 years old. (Side note: my husband’s plan was to show him episodes 1-6 in order. I suggested he start with the originals like we did. He showed my son Episode I and then agreed with me. 😛 )

Seeing the movies through your child’s eyes makes everything seem more exciting. Jedis, Darth Vader, ships, The Force, lightsabers… all of it! My daughters loved Princess Leia and Queen Amidala. In fact, for many years, Star Wars was well represented in our Halloween costumes.


My son as Anakin


One daughter as Leia, one daughter as Padme



My son as Jango Fett


My son as Anakin again and my husband (in mirror) as a Jedi


My husband as Han Solo and my son as Luke (with Yoda)

We have really embraced Star Wars in our house, as you can see. We’ve been to conventions like these and seen Star Wars in 30 Minutes, and seen Star Wars Exhibitions and I spend time thinking about Star Wars.

So, you see my background. The Force is with our family. So of course we were all excited (and a little apprehensive, truth be told) about the new Star Wars movie – The Force Awakens. Each time a new trailer came out, we got more excited. My faith in JJ Abrams grew with each new peek at the movie.

We finally saw it on Tuesday, and we were NOT disappointed. I will not give any spoilers, but WOW. The new characters are great, but it’s so wonderful to see some old friends. I think young girls will want to be Rey just as I wanted to be Leia as a child. Young boys will think Finn and Poe are awesome (because they are), just as my husband and brothers thought Luke and Han were cool. And the bad guys are scary, just as they were in the original trilogy.

No movie is perfect, but boy oh boy – props to JJ Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan! Well done. I can’t wait to see the next episode.

Have you seen Star Wars? Did you love it? Did it live up to your expectations?




We Boldly Went (to Star Trek Las Vegas)

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If you are a regular reader of my blog (or a friend, which honestly is probably one and the same), you know that our family became Trekkies about 2 years ago. I can admit that I have embraced it more than anyone in the family – except perhaps my husband, who was already a Trek fan.

I have stickers on my car.

For some reason the blue is the only color that hasn't faded.

For some reason the blue is the only color that hasn’t faded.

I have several t-shirts. I listen to podcasts. I have an Enterprise coffee mug. I designed my own Tricorder Purse, and of course I have my own Trek dress.

So, at the last minute, we decided to head to Vegas and go to the convention. (Next year is the 50th and I’m thinking we should just go and make plans early and stay more days and get better deals on hotel rooms, etc.)

We drove up on Thursday and bought tickets for Friday. So, when we got to Vegas, we had lunch, dropped off the husband, who had to work, and headed to the strip.

The Galaxy mix got me in the mood for some Trek.

The Galaxy mix got me in the mood for some Trek.

**I will most likely post separately about Las Vegas itself. I’ll try to keep to the convention on this post**

We also tried several international sodas at the Coke store, and took a dip in the pool before dinner.

The next morning we got ready for the convention.

The first face to greet us was Kirk, appropriately.

The first face to greet us was Kirk, appropriately.

It wasn't quite as nuts as Wonder or Comic Con, but it was busy!

It wasn’t quite as nuts as Wonder or Comic Con, but it was busy!

There were some great free photo ops!

My children, captured by the Borg

My children, captured by the Borg

Spock and Kirk and the Guardian of Forever

Spock and Kirk and the Guardian of Forever

You could beam up (or down)

You could beam up (or down)



Take your picture with Tribbles


Sadly we didn't get to go ON the bridge this time.

Sadly we didn’t get to go ON the bridge this time.

There were auction items, including costumes from the various shows and movies.

 My son with Wesley Crusher's costume.

My son with Wesley Crusher’s costume.

Some of Spock's costumes

Some of Spock’s costumes




The boy having a drink at Quark’s.


The kids helped activate a warp core… or a replica of a warp core.

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We saw some celebrities. I was able to sneak some snaps of a few:

Joan Collins, aka Edith Keeler

Joan Collins, aka Edith Keeler

We haven’t watched Voyager or DS9 yet, so I was surprised to see two actors from “Happy Days” at the convention.

Donny Most and Anson Williams

Donny Most and Anson Williams

We went to a few panels. The first was Walter Koenig, aka Pavel Chekov from the Original Series. He had some great stories and was very charming.

Walter Koenig

Walter Koenig

We went to a tribute to Leonard Nimoy.


Some great photos of the original series cast.

Some great photos of the original series cast.

We went to a panel of comic book artists and writers.

The comic panel

The comic panel

They had a drawing at the end, and MY NUMBER was called first. What the what? I never win!

I won!!

I won!!


We also saw Marina Sirtis, Michael Dorn, and Denise Crosby.

They were fun.

They were fun.


We bought some merchandise, met some interesting people, and learned a few things.

On the left, a book I bought and got signed by the author. On the right, the comic I won.

On the left, a book I bought and got signed by the author. On the right, the comic I won.

I bought these cute earrings.

I bought these cute earrings.

I got to meet the guys from Mission Log Podcast – a Trek podcast I love – and we got to see lots of great fans in fun costumes.

A photo taken by Leonard Nimoy on an actual corner in Canada.

A photo taken by Leonard Nimoy on an actual corner in Canada.

A Wesley Crusher inspired backpack

A Wesley Crusher inspired backpack


WOK era uniforms


A cute family of Starlet officers


An awesome Borg Queen


A Ferengi couple. (Fearing women don’t wear clothes.)

Two Kirks

Two Kirks


In my head this is Nurse Chapel and Dr. Crusher.

I'm not 100% sure which episode these are from, but I love them!

I’m not 100% sure which episode these are from, but I love them!

And, there was a big balloon Bird of Prey



These boots logged some steps!


I got to field test my Tricorder Purse. I’ll post about it soon.


Ready for a nap

It was a long day! I logged more than 10k steps in those boots I wore. We DID that Con (Khan?) and got the most out of the one day we were there. The only thing that could have possibly made it better would have been seeing William Shatner and the costume contest… maybe next year.

Until then, we will remember how fun this one is and plan for the next one.

It’s Almost Haunting Time!

I can’t believe Halloween is merely 3.5 weeks away! Usually by now we’re well underway with the costume-making and the shopping and whatnot. This year, we at least got the decorations up, thanks to Maddie. As far as costumes… only two of us know what we’re doing and exactly zero of us has all the pieces for the costumes.

In the past few years, my kids have had amazing ideas for costumes that we’ve been able to realize.


Jan and Cindy BradyIMG_5566

A cute little cupcakeIMG_6894

Luke (and Yoda)


Emily, the Corpse BrideIMG_9680

Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas

This year, my youngest wants to be young Maleficent.

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I love that my girls are so creative! I only wish I could sew. That would make this process infinitely easier.

My son, the oldest, doesn’t like Halloween nearly as much as the rest of his family. He rarely makes a decision about his costume without suggestions, and never before October. Two months ago, after we started watching “Mork and Mindy” after Robin Williams died, I suggested he go as Mork.

Screen Shot 2014-10-07 at 4.07.38 PM Screen Shot 2014-10-07 at 4.03.44 PM

I think he could pull off either one of these!

As for my middle child, who usually has half her costume finished by now? She doesn’t know. I suppose that’s the middle school girl in her who just can’t make a decision, but we’ve given her several ideas.

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Elsa, only as a zombie!

(any Disney princess as a zombie, actually)

Monster Mash-up : part Mummy, part Frankenstein, part Werewolf, part Dracula

Fire queen: kind of the opposite of the snow queen. Would work well with her red-tipped hair.

(Apparently I’m not the only one who has thought of this: this is a smattering of images that comes up when I googled Elsa Fire Queen.)

Screen Shot 2014-10-07 at 4.17.12 PM

But, she doesn’t like most of my ideas. She’s 11. I suppose that’s par for the course. 😦

I will say that I found the base piece of my costume this year. I found it by happenstance while looking for clothes for the kids.


If you’re not sure who I’m going to be, it’s Emma Swan, from Once Upon A Time.

Screen Shot 2014-10-07 at 4.27.53 PM

Granted, it’s not the exact jacket. Actually, she’s had several versions of that same jacket. But I think if I do my hair, wear skinny jeans and boots, and maybe a sheriff’s badge, I think Oncers will know who I am.

As for my husband, I’d love it if he dressed as Emma’s love interest, Captain Hook:

Screen Shot 2014-10-07 at 4.34.39 PM

but he’s not down with that. 😦

However, he can always be his favorite go-to costume, the Jedi


OR, if Sean decides to go for Marty McFly, he can be

Screen Shot 2014-10-07 at 4.33.16 PM

1.21 gigawats!!! Dr. Emmet L. Brown.

What are YOUR plans for Halloween? Do you buy or make your costume? Have any ideas for my picky pre-teen? I’d love to hear it!!

What Betty Draper & I Have In Common

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(Side Note – I realize her name isn’t Draper anymore, but I still see her as Betty Draper. I always will, I’m sure.)

As my “regular” readers will know, “Mad Men” is my new obsession. It’s helped nudge me into being (or attempting to be) a better housekeeper, a better “homemaker” and try new things, like an Old Fashioned. It’s also rekindled my love of all things 50s and 60s.

The kitchen table we picked out 10 year ago - a 50s diner style table  chairs.

The kitchen table we picked out 10 years ago – a 50s diner style table & chairs.

I’ve joked about how “perfect” Betty Draper is. How she manages to keep the house spotless, keep herself thin and gorgeous, and wear fabulous clothes. Clearly, we are not alike in this way. I also don’t think she’s a very good mother, and while I don’t think I’m an amazing mother, I think I do a better job than she does! 🙂

After watching Season 5, episode 3, however, I see we have a little more in common than I ever thought we would.

SPOILERS AHEAD> THIS POST REVEALS PLOT ABOUT “MAD MEN” SEASON 5, EPISODE 3. (I realize that for most “Mad Men” fans this is at least 2 years old, but just in case you don’t watch and might not want to be spoiled for future viewings, this is my warning.)

This is Betty in Season One:

Screen Shot 2014-07-30 at 10.45.55 AM

This is Betty in Season Five:

Screen Shot 2014-07-30 at 10.50.47 AM

At first, I was shocked. I had heard this was around the time January Jones was pregnant with her first child, but I didn’t expect to see prosthetics to make her whole body look fat.

What I learned from this episode:

~Fat woman = bored housewife.

~If it isn’t cancer, everything’s fine.

~Reading tea leaves is not an accurate way to tell the future (or the present).

~Even when you’ve “let yourself go” it’s still important to keep up appearances and wear pearls when going outside the house (although wearing your housecoat inside all day while eating bugles is totally okay).

So, Betty goes to a doctor to get “diet pills” on the urging of her mother-in-law. (I will say that if my mother-in-law suggested this to me, I would be pretty upset.)

First, the doctor dismisses her and says, “Well, with middle aged women it gets easier to put it on and harder to take it off.” She asks for diet pills and the doctor tells her that he has to give her an exam before he just prescribes pills. He says the most common cause for a housewife’s rapid weight gain is usually psychological – unhappiness, anxiety, and boredom. However, he tells her, he should rule out diabetes or hypothyroidism.

Upon giving her an exam, he finds a “lump” near her thyroid. He doesn’t seem to explain what it could be, but sends her to get a biopsy, leaving her scared and not knowing what is happening. She has the biopsy and finds out it’s benign, but he doesn’t discuss her condition any further. He doesn’t do any bloodwork. She says, “I’m just fat.” 😦

Four years ago, I went to the doctor to have him check my heartbeat, which was a little off. He did bloodwork and found out I was hypothyroid. After 4 years of medications, ultrasounds, a biopsy, and several books and articles later, I’m still not feeling fantastic, and I’m still a bit baffled by the whole thyroid situation. My doctors have been a little better than Betty’s, however upon thinking about it… not much. While I’m on medication (and Betty isn’t), I’m still finding I have symptoms and I’m still researching things on my own most of the time. Even though it’s 50 years later, it seems not much progress has been made in the thyroid research/treatment department.

How I feel sometimes too, Betty.

How I feel sometimes too, Betty.


I’m curious what they’ll do next with Betty.

Will she go to Weight Watchers?

Will the doctor put her on thyroid medication?

Will she start walking aimlessly around the neighborhood like Helen Bishop?

Will she use the Relaxicizor?

For the first time in a long time, I felt a kinship with Betty last night. I know what it’s like to feel exhausted, depressed, hungry, and unsatisfied with doctors. I’m sure that she’ll lose the weight somehow, seeing as I don’t see January Jones wearing the fat suit much longer. I hope that they deal with it as it happens, rather than her coming back in Season 6 looking perfect.

I don’t know if the rest of Betty’s story will resonate with me down the road, or if she’ll continue to be a sympathetic character. I do know that this episode hit me where I live, and I’m hoping “Mad Men” does something positive with Betty and her thyroid condition in the future.





Week In Pictures – Around

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Last week was pretty uneventful when thinking about it, but looking at the photos I snapped, it was more interesting than I realized…

Checking out the progress on our new school

Checking out the progress on our new school



Poker time on a Sunday afternoon


When you have a cookout, you make s’mores on the grill.


A rare night out with girlfriends to celebrate a birthday


A (becoming more rare these days), sweet moment of the kids all getting along, taken through the screen.


Showing the kids where we used to live… aeons ago.


What the kids look like when asked to come to an early morning appointment with Mom.


Walking through the neighborhood


The middle and I made good use of the cookie jar.


My youngest, showing me how her hand has grown since preschool.

My youngest, learning to dive.

My youngest, learning to dive.



I asked the girls to go through their dolls to give some away and they ended up playing together.

I asked the girls to go through their dolls to give some away and they ended up playing together.

My favorite little corner of the kitchen

My favorite little corner of the kitchen

Chinese Wall at an antique shop

Chinese Wall at an antique shop

Our city hall

Our city hall

Farmers Market

Farmers Market

Steel drums at the farmers market

Steel drums at the farmers market

Dining room

Flowers on the table


Brings back memories

Audience Selfie - ready for Comedy Sportz

Audience Selfie – ready for Comedy Sportz

Almost showtime

Almost showtime

We have a really low cutting board in our kitchen, and this is how my husband has to use it.

We went to an open house for fun. I loved these high bookshelves in the front room.

We went to an open house for fun. I loved these high bookshelves in the front room.

We didn’t stray too too far from home, but still had a good week.

In 3 weeks from today, my kids will be heading out the door to the first day of 4th, 6th, and 8th grades. It’s going far too fast, and I’m hoping, since so much of the cleaning up that I’d done is behind us, that we can move forward and really enjoy these last few weeks.

❤ Genevieve