10 Item Wardrobe Lobster Sweater J Crew

10 Days, 2 States: 10-Item Wardrobe

Okay, real quick! We’re leaving early (so early) tomorrow morning for a week-long trip to Massachusetts, followed immediately by a weekend in Seattle for Emerald City Comicon. Yay! However, traveling with a husband, a kid, and a baby? Yikes!

To try to keep my packing as minimal as possible, I decided to implement the 10-Item Wardrobe protocol (so official!) I learned from Lessons From Madame Chic. Basically, a capsule wardrobe: a group of items, largely in neutral colors, that all work together and combine to make different outfits. It doesn’t literally have to contain ten items (mine has more), and things like outerwear, underwear, and T-shirts don’t count.

I first tried this out two years ago when I was flying to San Diego Comic-Con. I was going to be there for eight days, and I needed a wardrobe that would allow me to set up/tear down a booth, work long hours at the show, and head to a few fancy parties afterward–and I only wanted to bring carry-on.

It was such a success that I gave away/put away most of my other clothes (which I found I never wore anyway), and kept going with my capsule wardrobe. I liked not having to think about getting dressed in the morning–pretty much everything went together–and I loved that my drawers closed!

So here’s my wardrobe. It was a bit of a challenge, seeing that I will be going from seeing family in Massachusetts, where it is currently in the 30s-40s and snowing, to Seattle, where it is in the 50s-60s and raining. I solved this by bringing things that I can layer (and layer again). Not shown: pajamas, a pair of sneakers, black and silver flats, three necklaces, one belt, one lined raincoat, hat, gloves, a scarf, and underwear.

Keep in mind that I am not a fashionista–I have a vague idea of what “normcore” is? I think this might be it:

10 Item Wardrobe Grey Hooded SweaterGrey Hooded Sweater

10 Item Wardrobe Lobster Sweater J CrewNavy Lobster Sweater J Crew

10 Item Wardrobe Black Cardigan J CrewBlack Cardigan J Crew

10 Item Wardrobe Spider-Man SweatshirtSpider-Man Sweatshirt

10 Item Wardrobe Navy Striped Shirt J CrewNavy Striped Shirt J Crew

10 Item Wardrobe Orange Stripe T-ShirtOrange Stripe T-Shirt

10 Item Wardrobe Silk Trouve BlouseSilk Trouve Blouse

10 Item Wardrobe Chambray Shirt J CrewChambray Shirt J Crew

10 Item Wardrobe Red Sheath DressRed Wool Sheath Dress

10 Item Wardrobe Grey Skinny JeansGrey Skinny Jeans

10 Item Wardrobe Black Skinny JeansBlack Skinny Jeans

10 Item Wardrobe Blue Skinny JeansBlue Skinny Jeans

10 Item Wardrobe Black T-ShirtBlack T-Shirt

10 Item Wardrobe Archie T-ShirtArchie T-Shirt

10 Item Wardrobe Gap T-ShirtsGap T-Shirts

So, uhhh . . . I guess I like stripes?

It was actually really helpful to take pictures of everything I’m packing, even though I felt a little silly. I realized a couple of things needed to be washed and mended, for one thing! But I’ll be posting pics of what I’m wearing here and on Twitter, with the hashtag #10ItemWardrobe.

Going Rogue With the X-Men

Finding myself short on blogging time while getting ready for our trip to Massachusetts (laundry . . . so . . . much . . . laundry), so I decided to share another “fantastic” “art piece” from when I was 15 or 16. Ready? It’s . . .

Rogue X-Men

As you can see, as a young teenager, the “assets” I was most interested in were . . . Rogue’s hairstyles. Although there were some costuming elements thrown in! Going clockwise from the upper right, we’ve got Rogue in her Brotherhood of the Evil Mutants phase (when she absorbed Carol Danvers’ powers and psyche), her look when she first joined the X-Men, an early Silvestri look, and how John Romita, Jr. depicted her.

In the center is Rogue circa Inferno, which is when I was first introduced to the character. Memories . . .

Have any art or X-Men (or otherwise) character obsessions to share? Post ’em below!

Happy Monday! Links to Make Your Day Brighter

Oh, you guys. I am recovering from a massive sugar hangover this morning. If you saw my Twitter feed this weekend, you saw that I made a gigantic Minecraft grass cube cake for Sid’s 10th birthday. Three batches of cake batter. Seven-plus pounds of cake. Nineteen cups of powdered sugar for all the frosting. 397 square inches of cake. We will have cake until next year. But! A wonderful time was had by all, and Sid is officially in the double digits. Sob!

Minecraft Grass Cube Cake

More than seven . . . pounds . . . of cake.

We also took a trip to Great Wolf Lodge in nearby Washington. It was a lot more fun than I thought it would be (in large part due to the margaritas Sid’s mom Myndi and I had at the waterpark).

Here are some links to help ease you into the week/dull the pain of your children growing up and leaving the nest:

Erik Larsen (creator of Savage Dragon) bemoaned “practical” female superhero costumes this weekend on Twitter, and everyone had a civilized debate. Just kidding! Everyone sharpened their knives and went to town. ComicBooked.com had a great take on this.

I know I keep linking to Zero Waste Chef every week, but she keeps hitting it out of the park! Go read 7 Big Food Marketing Gimmicks and have your eyes opened!

Speaking of zero waste, my Mom made this Buddha Bowl from Pamela Salzman with quinoa this week and it was sooooooo good. Definitely going to use my overstock of tahini to make this.

Pattern Behavior has been making the rounds, a Tumblr of vintage clothing patterns with hilarious captions. If you haven’t checked it out yet, trust me–it’s super funny.

Pattern Behavior

Have you checked out Kitchenette, an offshoot of Jezebel? Every Monday they post horrible/hilarious restaurant stories, and as a former server, I cannot resist. This week’s post: Terrible Restaurant Customers and the Revenge They So Justly Deserved. How can you resist this title?

This week: we’re getting ready to go to Massachusetts for a week (yes, it is still snowing . . . we may not ever come back) and then we hit Emerald City Comicon! Traveling for 10 days in two states with two kids is inspiring me to come up with a 10-Item Wardrobe, which I may be lame enough to photograph. Can we get away with just carryon? Will Sarah freak out on the plane? At least we have direct flights . . .

I’ll also be posting that Circle of Chicken recipe I meant to do last week!

Have anything to share? Post it below!

Bulk and Cocoa Pebbles

Wins and Losses: Zero Waste

First off, let me get it off my chest: I will probably never be zero waste. I’m not going to have so little trash that I can show off a month’s worth in a mason jar. I’m trying to take steps toward zero waste to cut down on our trash and plastic, but I’ve run into some roadblocks and frustrations.

Bulk olive oil and maple syrup.

Olive oil and maple syrup in glass milk bottles look pretty, with zero waste!

New steps I’ve taken this month:

  • Monthly meal planning, to both avoid waste and save money (and to stop going grocery shopping multiple times per week). It’s been hit or miss (mostly hit so far), but what I’m realizing is, even when I’m planning on a monthly basis, I make way too much food! This is in part because my husband has had a lot of work-related lunches in the past two weeks, which means the leftovers I intended for him are still sitting in the fridge. But still. I need to calm down a little.
  • Eliminated paper cupcake liners for muffins. I make muffins on a weekly basis for breakfasts, so I was using (and running out of) paper muffin liners all the time, which was annoying as well as wasteful. I started oiling my cupcake pan, and the results are actually delightful–a crisp exterior on the “muffin stump.” Not as good as the top, but better. Not sure about doing this for cupcakes, but I’ll likely test it out.
  • Saved glass bottles and filled them with olive oil and maple syrup from the bulk section at the People’s Co-op. This worked perfectly! I used a tip from Trash for Tossers and brought a cloth wine bag to organize my bottles and keep them upright: no spills or clanking!
  • Shopped Craigslist for needed baby items. This isn’t new, really–everything in Sarah’s nursery except a cube organizer and some wall shelving was either handed down, found on Craigslist, or made for us (an end table built by my father). This time I found a Graco Pack N Play for just $25 (they generally sell new for about $80). When I opened it up I realized it had some minor stains and water marks, but I attacked it with a bowl of soapy water and a rag–it looks brand new! I love Craigslist, because it’s like a garage sale or secondhand shop where you can find specific items quickly.
Bulk and Cocoa Pebbles

Bulk white and wheat flour and granulated and powdered sugar, surrounding . . . Cocoa Pebbles?!?


  • Looking at my grocery store hauls, it’s so clear where most of the plastic/packaging comes from: meat, cheese, and brand-name processed food we’re especially attached to. I would love to find a store that would let me shop the meat/deli counters with my own containers, but I’ve had no luck–and we’re just not ready to go vegan. Also: Kraft macaroni and cheese forever. FOREVER.
  • Impulse/must-have specialty items. This month is my son Sid’s 10th birthday, yay! To honor his long-range obsession, I decided to make him a Minecraft grass cube cake (I’ll post pics and a how-to). Looking through various examples on the Internet, I decided on Cocoa Krispies for the sides of the cake, to give it that pixelated “dirt” look, assuming I’d find it (or something similar) in bulk. No go. Having painted myself in a corner (and with very limited time), I felt I had to bite the bullet and get the packaged stuff. Boo.

In other news: we leave for Great Wolf Lodge today to celebrate Sid’s 10th birthday! I’ve never been, but I’ve heard it described as “Vegas for children.” Shudder. We’re all staying in one room: Scott, Sid, Sarah, and me, Sid’s mom, and two of Sid’s friends. This might end up being a cautionary tale. It will depend on how the boys behave!

My apologies for my lack of blogging this week. My wrists and hands are killing me–Sarah is now about 18 pounds, and I have to pick her up constantly. I have another Circle of Chicken recipe I’m excited to share, so I’ll prioritize that next week!

Do you have any tips/roadblocks to zero waste? Post them below!

Kitty Pryde Costumes

The Many “Phases” of Kitty Pryde

I found this in a box of “memories” my parents gave me when they moved to their new house last year, and–well–I felt the need to share it with you.

Kitty Pryde Costumes

I estimate that I was 15 or 16 when I drew this, deep into my X-Men/Excalibur addiction. As you can see, I’ve got Kitty pre-X-Men, in the traditional black/yellow costume, in one of her Sprite (?!) costumes (lower left), as Shadowcat in the John Romita, Jr. days (lower right), and as her Excalibur incarnation in the center.

As you can see, I loved puns even then, because I have always been super cool. I don’t remember, but I must have drawn one of the small faces and traced it? Or I was totally crazy.

Who were your comic book character obsessions? Got any fan art to confess to?

Archie vs Predator

Happy Monday! Links to Make Your Day Brighter

Happy Monday! Cranky about springing forward for Daylight Savings this past weekend? Me, too. Here’s some fun stuff to peruse while you acclimate to that lost hour.

If you didn’t see my post from earlier today, Episode #47 of Rachel & Miles X-Plain the X-Men is live! I was fortunate enough to guest host. This week, Miles and I discuss X-Men/Alpha Flight volumes 1 and 2.

Archie vs. Predator is real, and it’s going to be spectacular (trust me, I have insider knowledge). Get an ashcan of Dark Horse’s Archie vs. Predator at Things From Another World!

Archie vs Predator

Need something good and easy for breakfast? These Banana Wheat muffins are awesome, healthy(ish), and take just a couple of minutes to whip up (oil your muffin tin and go without liners–the bottoms get nice and crisp).

In other cooking news, I made about 12 cups of veggie broth for zero (additional dollars), thanks to this post at Zero Waste Chef.

I want to thank my friend Jen Waters for showing me LansburyReact, a Twitter feed dedicated to hilarious gifs of Angela Lansbury, a.k.a. Jessica Fletcher. IT IS PURE GOLD.

This week I’ll have more Circle of Chicken recipes (my son Sid’s favorite soup) and we’ll also talk about cooking dry beans (do this it’s so easy, and better for you than canned). Probably more nerd stuff, too. Nerds!

Have something to plug? Post your links below!

Rachel & Miles X-Plain the X-Men #47 Is Live–and I Got to Guest Host!

Yay! Rachel & Miles X-Plain the X-Men is one of my very favorite, favorite podcasts–named one of 20 Podcasts You Need to Hear in 2015 by Entertainment Weekly–and I was lucky enough to be asked to guest host Episode #47, which is live now! Click here to listen to Miles and I discuss the X-Men / Alpha Flight miniseries of 1985 and 1997.

Is this our first time meeting? Hi, I’m Elisabeth Allie: comics nerd, baby maker, compulsive cook, zero waste dabbler, and Murder, She Wrote superfan. Nice to meet you!

Huge thanks to Rachel Edidin and Miles Stokes for having me on their awesome show, and thank you to producer Bobby Roberts for making me sound coherent! Now, go catch up on Rachel & Miles X-Plain the X-Men!

Comics That Changed My Life: Classic X-Men #33 & Uncanny X-Men #245

Like a lot of comics fans, I’ve loved many titles over the years (current favorites: All-New X-Men, Lazarus, and Revival, among others). However, I can pinpoint the issues that literally changed my life forever: Classic X-Men #33 and Uncanny X-Men #245.

Classic X-Men #33

Uncanny X-Men #245










It was the year 1989. I was 14 and possessed by the calm, sure knowledge that someday, somehow, Axl Rose and I would meet and fall in love (I would then join the band on tour as their cook, of course). I was on a trip to Hawaii with my parents and younger brother. But while I was keeping an eye out for Axl, disaster struck: I realized I had read all the Archie comics they had at the convenience store near our rented condo.

This left me with no choice but to grudgingly read the only option immediately available to me: the “boy comics” my brother had picked up, the aforementioned Classic X-Men #33 and Uncanny X-Men #245.

Classic X-Men #33

Classic X-Men #33

Classic X-Men #33

Classic X-Men #33, a reprint of Uncanny X-Men #127, was an action-packed entry into the X-Men. Brief recap: the X-Men are in Scotland, fighting Proteus, a terrifying and powerful enemy who just happens to be the secret mutant son of their ally, Moira MacTaggart. And he kicks their butts, leaving the team shaken to the core, leading Cyclops to instigate a fight with Wolverine and the rest of the team that is visually fun to read and showcases each member’s strengths and personalities.

This was a great way to “meet” the team, and the drama of Moira steeling herself to kill her own son (who eventually took over the body of her estranged, abusive husband!) was intriguing to me. Chris Claremont’s character-focused writing style appealed to a girl who was ready to graduate from Anne of Green Gables. This issue also began my lifelong love of (some might say obsession with) the beautiful and iconic art of John Byrne.

Note: This issue also had a bizarre, gory backup story by Ann Nocenti and John Bolton starring Havok and Polaris that freaked me out: Havok basically imagines them dying horrific deaths over and over, and then rejects life with the X-Men. Because of this, Havok creeped me out for years!

After reading Classic X-Men #33, Uncanny X-Men #245 was totally confusing. To anyone who hasn’t read this gem, titled “Men!”: this was a comedic one-off–a breather after the drama of Inferno–drawn by a young Rob Liefeld, in which inept aliens decide to take over the planet–beginning with Australia, as you do–while the men of the X-Men have a guys’ night out. Oh, and the aliens have a “Jean Bomb” that looks just like Jean Grey, which they claim will “fatally disrupt any and all relationships.” Since I hadn’t yet read the Dark Phoenix Saga or Inferno (something I would quickly remedy) the humor was lost on me.

Uncanny X-Men 245

These two comics lit a fire in me that caused me to seek out my local comic shop for the very first time. I started a box; first with just Uncanny X-Men, later expanding to Excalibur, X-Men, X-Factor, and X-Force. From that moment on, all of my extra funds were funneled into a back-issue collection I still have today. No lip gloss or tapes for me–I was spending my money on cardboard boxes, bags and boards, and comics; family vacations now meant the chance to seek out new comic shops that just might have that back issue I was missing. I was on a quest!

How did this change my life? My love of comics led me to send a submission to Dark Horse Comics, which led to me becoming their very first marketing intern and introduced me to my future husband and father of my children (16 years before we tied the knot). It also resulted in six incredible years in marketing and public relations at Things From Another World, the world’s best online and brick-and-mortar comic book retailer.

So there’s my secret comic book origin: what’s yours? Post about the comic that started it all for you!

S05E10 – Weave a Tangled Web

More amazing Murder, She Wrote recappery from Murder She Blogged!

Murder, She Blogged

It seems like ages since JB has been in the Cove, but she’s back at home this week although she’s got a children’s charity benefit to attend in New York. Nevertheless she makes plans to have dinner with her friends Vivian and Ralph Proctor when she gets back and Vivian returns from her business trip. Little does JB know that there’s something shifty going on in House Proctor. Vivian is receiving phone calls from shady character Eric Bowman who insists that she skip her stepson’s little league game to meet him at the Starlight Motel later that evening. The same Eric Bowman who has racked up a big gambling debt to another shady character Augie Specter and who is later caught by his ex-wife rifling through her desk. Judging by the gun she has pulled on him I’d say the divorce isn’t going well.

Later that evening, Ralph takes the…

View original post 1,576 more words

Key Ingredients for a Zero-Waste Kitchen

This is an amazing resource if you’re looking to stock your pantry while reducing packaging–and eat really well, too!

Zero-Waste Chef


To reduce kitchen waste—and to save time and money—I improvise when I cook rather than strictly follow recipes. If you follow recipes for a different dish every night, in no time, ingredients you bought specifically for those dishes but didn’t use entirely—plus leftovers—will overrun your kitchen. You and your family can eat only so much!

Master some basic cooking techniques, such as making soup, and you won’t need recipes because you’ll know what to do with what you have. You may soon realize you don’t need to buy nearly as much food as you had thought. Having said that, do know that I don’t stock my entire list in my kitchen at once. For example, the produce we eat varies by season however, I always have onions, carrots and celery on hand.

With my plastic-free and zero-waste ingredients, I can cook an endless variety of meals without generating waste. I am lucky to live within…

View original post 499 more words