Sunday, August 21, 2016

G.I.S.H.W.H.E.S. 2016 - Recap Part Two!

What better way to start the week than PART TWO of my G.I.S.H.W.H.E.S 2016 experience. If you missed my first post, you can find it HERE. I'm excited to share the next batch of tasks I completed for my AWESOME team ... Lucifer's Minions!

Ready? Here we go ...

Item #101

It's been a very hot summer! Help out the first responders in your area by bringing ice cream to your local police, fire, or EMS department while dressed as the world famous Dessert Fairy!

I was soooooo freaking excited to claim this task! While I don't always comment on social media about the things happening in the country--I really wanted to show my appreciation for those who work so hard to keep us safe. Plus, any excuse to pull out the tutu I made for Phoenix Comic Con two years ago is awesome! I wore my "TARDIS" blue wig and bought cute fairy wings from the local Dollar store. Then with ring pops on my fingers, a giant sucker as a wand, fellow teammate Valerie hot glued me a delicious crown to wear. True ... I was leaning more toward a Candy Fairy but sweets are sweets, right?

I chose to go to the local police station and while I only got to talk with the officer and dispatch, I love that I caught them by surprise ... like I'm positive they don't see many Dessert Fairies during their shifts. It was a wonderful chance for me to say thank you and let them know how much I value what they do. Plus, it made us all chuckle when the officer pulled out his ice cream and it was ITTY BITTY! hahaha

I also dedicated this task to someone special ... MG. Thank you so much for everything you and your fellow officers do!

Item #124

Submit a screenshot. Create a website, blogpost, or in-depth social media post explaining an aspect of the elusive Miss Jean Louis’ biography.

I LOOOOOOOVE blogging. I might not be as diligent lately but before I was an author, I used to be an AVID romance book blogger. So I enjoyed the chance to create a post about the mysterious Miss Jean Louis--Misha's "babysitter". There are a lot of different theories out there on the Internet. I shared my thoughts about it ....

G.I.S.H.W.H.E.S. is underway - the brainchild of the devilishly cunning and extraordinarily goofy Misha Collins - and one of the tasks assigned has me pondering a VERY important question. No ... not the one where I wonder if Misha would consider being BFF's with me. I mean the question every team is asking ...


You can continue reading HERE

Visit the link even if it's just to see the funny photos of Misha I shared ... that man ... he's AWESOME and definitely a kindred spirit!

Item #95

Submit a screenshot of your post. Kilroy was a meme ( before memes were cool. Kilroy never grows old though, and now he is so hipster! Bring "Hipster Kilroy" into his well-deserved glory as a popular Kilroy Hipster meme. Get at least 100 likes on your post.

Thank you SO much to all those who liked this post! Did you realize you were also fellow GISHERS? I'd never heard of Kilroy before -- I guess because I grew up in Australia -- so it was fun to do this. Kilroy was created by Cassie Greve, a fellow team member, and I love how it turned out. 

Item #137

Happiness Day 6. What have you done today to make someone else happy?

This was another task I LOOOOOOOVED doing! Back home in Australia, I would travel into the city to meet up with a friend after work. There would be florist stands in Martin Place that I'd stop by because I LOVE flowers so when I claimed this item, my first thought was ... I need to incorporate flowers. They make people smile, right?

I went to a local bank and handed each of the tellers a flower along with a thank you. It was a Friday afternoon so they finished their work week with a smile, knowing they were appreciated. Customer service jobs can suck when you have to deal with customers who sometimes forget their manners. It really showed me that acts of kindness really DO make a difference! Even if it's a smile, a thank you, anything ... it all matters.

Item #148

Art changes lives. Contribute to the gishwhes art gallery by submitting an image taken by you or of you that captures the notion of identity in the 21st century.

The SECOND I read this item I KNEW what I wanted to do. I'm such a selfie girl. It has nothing to do with loving my reflection or being self absorbed (kinda drives me nuts when people assume they know why others enjoy things and devalue it!) and everything to do with chronicling my life. For a LONG time I was VERY over weight and it resulted in me completely blocking out my reflection. I would gloss over my image ... in a way, I was ignoring my identity.

So to me, a notion of identity in the 21st century could be captured by the selfies we take. I scrolled through my phone and selected a bunch of my favorite selfies -- ones I've done in fun, have sent to peeps, or simply taken because I felt pretty or wanted a memory. Each of these photos represent part of who I am. So this was a lot of fun!

Okay ... I have a few items left so I'll leave that for PART THREE! I'll also sum up how I felt about GISHWHES as a whole -- my thoughts and feelings as I begin to countdown to 2017. I hope you've enjoyed this post. Feel free to comment below!

Where you a fellow GISHER? 
Are you curious to sign up next year?
Any worries I might be able to help with?

Love you guys! Embrace your inner fangirl/fan boy ... it's what makes life FUN!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

G.I.S.H.W.H.E.S. 2016 - Recap Part One!


That's pretty much my reaction to the most INSANE week of creativity and mayhem I've had in a long time! For those who aren't familiar with the term, G.I.S.H.W.H.E.S. stands for the Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen, and is the brain child of Misha Collins ... you know, the AWESOME guy who plays Castiel on Supernatural and owner of Random Acts

Once a year, teams of 15 agree to forget responsibilities and band together in a mad dash to complete over 170+ items. The prize?  A coveted trip with Misha. This year, those who place first will be flown to Iceland where they'll ride sleds, soak in volcanic hot springs, and did I mention they'll be going there WITH Misha?

Last year I was a proxy gisher for my friend (click here for the post) so when it came time to sign up a few months ago, I dived in! 

I joined LUCIFER'S MINIONS, a shout out to Mark Pellegrino's character on Supernatural who we LOVE and ADORE. Can't go wrong with an awesome name like that, right?

So, do you want to see the tasks I completed for the team? I did quite a few so I'll be spitting this post into 2-3. I'll also do a post showcasing my talented team members!

Here's Part One ...

Item #23

The versatility of corn is amazing— it has so many uses! However, there's no better use for corn than this year's must-have fashion statement: the Corn Husk Bikini or Corn Husk Evening Wear! Feel free to color the husks, as well as to accent and accessorize with kernels.

It was kinda hilarious walking into Walmart and cleaning them out of corn. The guy who greeted customers at the door couldn't believe it when I said I was buying 74 ears of corn (I originally planned on 100 but they didn't have enough!) Good news was they price matched it with another grocery store so I was able to buy it all for just $8.88! 

My mini Steve, aka Castiel, volunteered to supervise which I think was just his excuse to get out of shucking the corn. Originally, my sweet daughter was going to model the dress, but when she went to work, we had to get creative. This is where my hubby's stormtrooper, who I affectionately call Steve, came into play. All afternoon we could sense him silently fuming beneath his mask. At one point he aimed his gun at my aunt, but we all know storm troopers MISS ... so no one was harmed! A huge thank you to Jenny for helping me with this!


Item #147

As we all know Matt Cohen is legendary for taking off his shirt to raise money for charity. His 6-pack abs have single-abdominally raised thousands of dollars for great organizations like Let’s thank his abs for their altruistic humanitarian work by using Photoshop to digitally remove his abs and then place them on a vacation around the world. (Unfortunately Matt can’t make this trip himself as he’s busy shooting his TV show.) His abs can visit anywhere on the planet that you can capture in an image. Let’s make sure they have the proper tourist accessories, too.

Oh. My. Chuck. I had sooooo much fun with this item! While I'm not an expert in Photoshop, I do love to play around with the program and abs ... if you know me, you'll agree that I was the perfect choice to complete this! LOL 

So here's the photo I used of Matt ...

Go ahead ... appreciate! *winks*

And here's his abs ... In Hawaii

Sightseeing in Paris

And in the outback of Australia!

Doesn't it make you want to grab your passport and travel the world? Good news is ... if you don't have enough money to fun the trip, I know how to photoshop you in! hahaha

Item #139

We’re writing an e-book and we want you to do our work for us. There’s a habit that was hard for you to change, but you changed it anyway. What is the habit, and what is your number one piece of advice for making that change? Please submit an image of one paragraph of text.

This was another no brainer and one that gave me a chance to be somewhat serious. It's something I've pondered on a lot this year -- beliefs and habits that kept me from being happy. Quite a few came to mind, but I wanted to pick the PERFECT one. That's when it hit me ... the habit I needed to share ... letting go of perfection!

This was such a great reminder with me starting my first G.I.S.H.W.H.E.S. It helped me remember that it wasn't always about doing everything perfectly, but having fun on the journey. That's what the scavenger hunt was for me. It was about being goofy. Taking risks. Stepping outside my tidy little box and comfort level to do something nice for others. It was about being happy with what I was doing and being proud of the results. So, thank you, Misha!

And the last one for this post ...
(I still have more to share!)

Item #94

It's time to connect the freckles! Find a willing human that's a good freckle pallet and “connect” their real freckles to create a new freckle constellation.

A huge thank you to Kysee for letting me draw on her face! It was fun choosing which freckle to connect and don't worry ... we used lip liner instead of a sharpie pen! haha

So that's it for Part One!
Part Two will be ready in the next couple of days ...

Here's a hint at what you'll see -

My graphic artwork about identity in the 21st century
Dressing up as the Dessert Fairy
What I did to make someone else happy!

See you then!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Who Is Miss Jean Louis ... This Fangirl's Theory!

G.I.S.H.W.H.E.S. is underway - the brainchild of the devilishly cunning and extraordinarily goofy Misha Collins - and one of the tasks assigned has me pondering a VERY important question. No ... not the one where I wonder if Misha would consider being BFF's with me. I mean the question every team is asking ...


I'm an author so I know the importance of research and making sure my facts are straight. If I don't know something (and that happens a lot! I know, shocking!) I turn to my trusted buddy, Google, and see if Mr. Search Engine can shed some light on the subject.

She truly IS mysterious!

What I did discover was a certain phrase stood out as I clicked on different links ... UNREPENTANT HEDONIST. Hands up who else wasn't quite sure what that meant? Thankfully, Google once again came to the rescue.

The second I read the meaning, my theory started to formulate. One would assume Miss Jean Louis Alexander is female because ... well ... the Miss part. Her profile pictures across social media show an artist rendition of a woman enjoying a cigarette and alcohol - something some find pleasurable and have often been considered as the indulgent excesses of society and partying. 

Here's what I think ... actually, they say a picture says a thousand words so let me SHOW you ...

He's quoted as saying he wants to live in a world where NORMAL is an insult. He definitely lives his philosophy.

If there's one thing I would say about Misha is he sure does know how to have fun! In everything he does, he marches to his own beat ... dances to his own tune ... does whatever he wants UNREPENTANTLY. He's definitely a PLEASURE SEEKER - whether it's with cast members, with fans/friends online during his live streams, or with his kids cooking ... Misha doesn't hold back.

And does anyone else notice he sure does dress up as a woman A LOT?

Do you see where I'm going with this?

It's my proposal that Misha Collins, a master at misdirecting and messing with our heads, is in fact Miss Jean Louis! 

He is his OWN babysitter.
His OWN advisor.

I bet you looked EXTRA close to see if this was Misha. It's not, but he'd TOTALLY rock
this style! Maybe this dude is channeling his own inner Misha? 

Here's another piece of evidence to consider ...

If you believe, like Team Lucifer's Minions believe, that Misha likes to lead us on a merry chase sometimes then it is totally plausible that while he WANTS us to think that's Miss Jean Louis BEHIND him ... he may actually be referring to himself! Yes, he references "taking minutes" but how do we know the mysterious female in the above photo isn't checking her emails? Updating her Facebook status? Snapchatting? Facetiming with loved ones? I can't be the only one who makes mental notes, especially when I'm busy doing something else.

So there you have it ... have we reached AWESOME SCOOBY GANG level of detective work and uncovered the truth? 

Who knows! Only time will tell!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Dear The Walking Dead Fandom ...

Back in 2010 a show started on AMC that evolved into a HUGE fandom ... so big that each week when a new episode aired, my newsfeed on Facebook would EXPLODE! I'm a fangirl so you would think I'd be front row and center, squeeing with everyone but nope ... despite the constant attempts by friends, I adamantly REFUSED to watch it.

Why? Because of this ... *takes a deep breath as I upload the graphic, careful not to look to closely*

Yikes! I'm keeping this itty bitty to protect my faint heart.

I'm a scaredy cat. I'm a 40 year old woman who until the past year slept with a night light and was convinced there were monsters lurking under the bed. When I went to see Warm Bodies in the theater, I was so proud of myself - watching it with the sole focus that the romantic story within it made up for the "squick" factor. To this day, I haven't been able to eat one of my FAVE cereals (Cocoa Pebbles) because I foolishly thought, "Hmmm, I bet this is what brains feels like on my tongue." When I couldn't keep for gagging, I had to let the breakfast food go.

*pause for a brief moment of silence*

So the thought of watching The Walking Dead filled me with the heebie jeebies and horror. I couldn't imagine inflicting that kind of trauma on my poor psyche each week. I stood my ground stubbornly.

And then a good friend of mine made a deal with me - an episode of TWD and she'd watch an episode of Doctor Who. In my mind, who can resist David Tenant, the Doctor I was fangirling over at the time. It would be worth me suffering through an episode if it meant she'd convert to Whovian-ism.

Oh, how naive I was.

It took me TWO HOURS to watch the first episode. TWO HOURS. I would pause it when a walker appeared. I watched on my phone so I could turn the screen away. I almost peed my pants and almost told her that it wasn't worth it. But I endured. I finished the episode and DAMN IT ... I HAD TO KEEP WATCHING TO SEE IF RICK SURVIVED!

See that's the thing she kept telling me - "Belinda, it's not always about the walkers. It's about the people. It's the angst. It's the emotion. Trust me, you'll love it if you can push through."

So I began episode 2 and DIED.

Anyone want to guess where I freaked and almost threw my phone across the room?
When they SMEARED  walker GUTS over them.

It was too much and I said ADIOS! I'd given it a shot and felt justified in NEVER watching it again. Ever. This fangirl would NEVER know the excitement others felt as they posted about each episode and how much they loved certain characters. I did give my friend a hard time, though. I teased her without mercy. 

Time passed. I started realizing that a lot of the fears I'd held on to over the years didn't matter anymore. I began feeling empowered and I remembered - Supernatural was a show that SCARED me. Heck, I couldn't watch past the first minute because the baby mobile music scared me. Thankfully I had friends who showed me certain episodes to watch because Supernatural is my #1 fandom now. My gosh, CASTIEL ... how that angel makes me swoon and laugh <3 But I digress ...

I started realizing that in my stubbornness, I was missing out on things that I actually ended up loving because I told myself I couldn't handle it. This was something happening throughout every aspect of my life and so I made the decision -- revisit things and see what happens now with a new perspective.

I started The Walking Dead again. I decided that seeing the walkers scared me still I would simply turn away and waited for the scene to be over. I would hang in there and see whether the show truly was the angst-riddled jewel my friend promised. I would reserve my judgement.

AND OH MY CHUCK ... she was RIGHT! 

This series ... the people ... the choices they face ... the dynamics ... the anguish ... the drama ... before I knew I was already into Season 2. No one was more shocked than ME!! Even my husband can't believe I'm watching the show, but here's the thing -- I've always been someone who connects with the storyline. Always. If you can show me the hearts of the characters, then I will watch. I know my friend tried, but I wasn't ready then. Maybe it's the writer in me who loves seeing character development and the way they face each challenge, but yeah ... HOOKED

Rick -- my heart ACHES for him and how he must be strong for the group.
Carl -- he's a boy yet he's having to do things even IIII couldn't imagine. 
Daryl -- I'm a sucker for that tough guy exterior that hides a softer heart. One word for you ... baby.
Carol -- BAD. ASS.
Michonne -- BAD. ASS.

And another reason why I wanted to try and watch The Walking Dead ... Negan.

Jeffery Dean Morgan ... SWOON!

So there you have it. I'm about to start Season 4 and I'm committed to ride the gut wrenching drama train to the end. But first ... an apology.

Dear The Walking Dead Fandom, but more specifically my dearest friend Angel,

I am so sorry.
I get it now.
It was never about sweaty balls and stinky armpits.
It was never really about walkers and gore and scary stuff.

It's about this and countless similar moments.
It's about doing the best you can.
It's about finding out who you truly are, despite the odds.

And it's about Darryl ... the man who keeps melting my heart.

So please accept my heartfelt apology for all the teasing I put you through because I was blind.

This man.

I humbly ask to join the fandom. The SQUEE is strong with me and I'm a believer. I promise.

I thought I was watching for Negan (swoon) but all along, I was just waiting to fall in love with Darryl.


Your friend and fellow geek,

Bels the Repentant.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Year I Was A G.I.S.H.W.H.E.S Proxy!

Remember when I said I was on a secret mission? Finally, the story can be told! (Click here for FB post)

Each year, actor Misha Collins does something EPIC called GISHWHES. (Stands for Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen!) I've wanted to participate for the past 2 years now but have always been on a book deadline. DRATS!

This year, because I lived close-ish to one of the challenges, I was asked to be a GISHWHES proxy! And man, did I learn a lot as well as having an INSANE amount of fun.

What did I learn? Let me tell you how the day went ...