About Tara


Tara is the Geeky Hostess. Lover of entertaining, decorating, and gift-giving with a personal and geeky flair. Have a question on Geek entertaining or etiquette? Email her at tara@geekyhostess.com !

Posts by Tara :

Nutty “Bloody Brain” Dip

Looking for a fun, healthy, last minute Halloween snack? Make this “Bloody Brain” dip! The garlic walnut dip is placed in a cauliflower “brain” and is perfect at a Halloween or zombie-themed party with some bread, crackers, or veggies. See below for the recipe featured in the video. (And special thanks to Sante Nuts for sharing the recipe!)

Nutty “Bloody Brain” Dip
by George Duran

7-oz. jar roasted red peppers, drained
1 C. Panko bread crumbs
1 5-oz. package of Santé Candied Walnuts
3 garlic cloves, pressed or crushed
1 T. fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. honey
1 tsp. ground cumin
½ tsp. dried hot red pepper flakes
1 tsp. kosher salt
¾ C. extra-virgin olive oil
1 large cauliflower for “brain”
Pita chips

In a food processor, place all of the ingredients except olive oil and pulse until coarse. Slowly add olive oil and process until smooth. Set aside.
Make cauliflower “brain” by trimming leaves and bottom stem. Make hole in the top center of cauliflower by gently cutting a ring that will fit a small bowl. Keep digging through the top half of cauliflower until the bowl fits snuggly. Place dip inside bowl, making sure it overflows around cauliflower “brain.”
Serve with pita chips.

No matter what your plans are or what type of treat you make, I wish you a happy, safe, and spooky Halloween!

You Asked For It: “Sexy” Kool-Aid Man Costume

I’m beginning to worry about you all. Sure, I get the sexy shark costume. Sharks are dangerous. Sexy Boba Fett I understand. I mean, it’s Boba. But the Kool-Aid Man? This is the “sexy” Halloween costume you wanted me to wear?

Lucky for you, even if I begin to worry, I still have your best interest at heart. And your best interest was to see me in a Kool-Aid Man costume with fishnets. And even luckier for you, BuyCostumes.com didn’t bat an eye when I said I needed the Kool-Aid costume, fishnet tights, and long red satin gloves.

As a disclaimer, I tried so hard to find a brick wall with a hole in it, but apparently Seattle likes to keep their buildings in somewhat decent condition. This wall with a painted over spot was the next best thing–I like to think they were just repairing it from my last visit, and I’m back to taunt them.

Special thanks goes to the lovely and talented Liz Leo for taking what looks like high fashion photos on a windy day in the middle of an old parking lot in Seattle. She’s amazing!

Ok, ok, without further ado. Here are some ridiculous(ly awesome) pics of me as the Kool-Aid Man. The costume itself recommends you stuff it with newspaper or other padding, but the wind wasn’t cool with that idea. So instead, you get a Kool-Aid Man inspired dress-type-thing. You know you love it.

Kool Aid Collage 1

Kool Aid 3Kool Aid Collage 2

Pick up your own Kool-Aid Man costume at BuyCostumes.com (You can still get your costume in time for Halloween with some of their shipping options!)

What are you going to be for Halloween this year?

Con*Quest: The Con Adventure Journal

Con Quest

While at NYCC, I came across a fantastic new tool for convention goers: Con*Quest, a con adventure journal. The journal, a successful Kickstarter project, is a way to keep all of your autographs, sketches, prints, business cards, and photos in one place. It’s like a scrapbook or smash book for geeks.

The journal has specific pages for the types of “quests” (autograph, artist, cosplay, panel, etc.), business card pages, pages to hold prints, a zipper pouch for anything small, and a spot to put your trusted sharpie. It even comes with an adorable tote bag (with shoulder-length strap) to carry it in!

While this works for all-ages and is fantastic for any type of con, I can really see this catching on with kids and first-time con goers. It gives you a great idea of everything you can do at a convention, and makes sure you have everything in one easy location.

And if you weren’t already in love with the journal and this company, wait till you hear about their Con*pliment Cards. These cards are a fun, easy, and appropriate way to compliment someone on their cosplay or artwork. It’s a great thing to give to someone after you’ve taken a picture of them (with their permission, of course)–it has a spot for you to put your twitter handle or Instagram account so they know where they can find the picture later! I’m all about spreading kindness and I think this is such a cool idea.

You can purchase a Con*Quest journal (as well as extra pages, a mini journal, and con*pliment cards) at conquestjournal.com, or you can enter below to win your own! Bonus: Use code “NYCC” to save 10%!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Handmade, Indie, and Cool Products from 9th and Elm


I recently found out about 9th & Elm, an online store that features handmade and independent designers, and I’ve become obsessed. I was given the opportunity to pick out some goodies, which I then modeled around Central Park (shout out to my MIL Roni for taking the pics!), and I still check the update emails every day and browse the site whenever I have the chance.

You’ll find your favorite indie designers and Etsy shops, and a bunch of folks and products you’ve never seen before, all for a great price. Above, you’ll see me wearing:

  • “Mother of Dragons” tank top from ClassicSciFi (No longer on the site, but there are other fun graphic tanks available!)

This shirt is ridiculously comfy and looks great with jeans or as a workout top. I got a few compliments from strangers the first day I wore it around!

  • Scarfbag from Go For the Throat (No longer on the site, but there are other hidden pocket scarves available!)

It’s a scarf. With a secret hidden zippered pocket. It’s AMAZING. Plus, the fabric is super soft and cozy. This is going to be my go-to scarf this Fall and Winter!

This organic, vegan lip balm smells and tastes just like a vanilla cupcake, and keeps your lips nice and soft. It’s the perfect size for your purse or pocket as well!

The selection on the site changes daily, but you’ll always find clothing, accessories, housewares, jewelry, and gifts. Prices vary just as much as the designers–you can get super inexpensive and super high quality items right next to each other. The collection is well curated and fun to look through–it was tough narrowing down what items I was going to add to my first order, and I can’t wait to place another!

Check it out at 9thElm.com and let me know what you end up getting!

Einhorn’s Epic Cookies


While at NYCC, I passed by a booth with cookie samples. Clearly, I had to stop. The cookie flavors all sounded amazing, and the one I tried (Cadiz: birthday cake, crisped rice, and rainbow sprinkles) was even better than I could imagine. It had a bit of a buttery, salty taste to balance the sweetness of the flavor, and it was perfect. Even better? I found out all of the cookies come with a small comic book, showcasing the adventures of the male unicorns the cookies are named after.

The brand is Einhorn’s Epic Cookies, and you don’t need to be at NYCC to get your hands on them–you can buy them online! The cookie flavors are:

Houston: Chocolate chip and potato chip

Cadiz: Birthday cake, crisped rice, and rainbow sprinkles

Romsey: Peanut butter, bacon, and chocolate chip

Broxburn: Oatmeal, chocolate chip, and maple

I’m kicking myself that I didn’t pick up at least one of every flavor when I was there.

If you like cookies, comics, and unicorns, you’ve gotta get your hands on these cookies. Find out more info at einhorns-epic-cookies.com.

What flavor are you loving most?

The Official Cronut Recipe


Dominique Ansel, the creator of the Cronut, released a home version of the recipe for his famous pastry. And people are freaking out.

The recipe takes 3 days to make, but if you follow the directions (and have all of the tools),  it’s really not that tough. Most of the time is allowing dough to rest and ganaches to marinade with their flavors. By breaking it into 3 days, you can do a bit each evening after work and have an amazing pastry ready for brunch or a party over the weekend!

You can find the recipe over at Good Morning America. Want to see more? You can pre-order Dominique’s new book “Dominique Ansel: The Secret Recipes,” which will be out on October 28th.

Have you tried one of his cronuts? Will you be making the recipe?

Rocket Raccoon-Inspired Gifts from Kate Spade

Raccoon Hero

Kate Spade may claim that their new raccoon items have nothing to do with a certain character from Guardians of the Galaxy. They may claim that the star accents are because raccoons are “night creatures” and not because a certain summer blockbuster featured a raccoon in SPACE. They can pretend it’s just a coincidence. But we know. We know.

Regardless of the reason they made them, I keep seeing Rocket in all of Kate Spade’s newest raccoon items. And I love it. Have a classy friend who happens to love Rocket? Then I present some fabulous gift ideas:

Screen Shot 2014-10-06 at 8.19.11 PM

Night Creature Coin Purse, $148

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Night Creature Mini iPad Slim Sleeve, $198

Screen Shot 2014-10-06 at 8.20.49 PM

Raccoon iPhone 5 Case, $45

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Cal Slippers, $85

 Want to go head-to-toe in raccoon gear? You can also find an adorable yet pricey sweater, a watch, what’s supposed to be a raccoon hat, and even a pair of heels.

What do you think of these raccoon items? Do they feed your inner fan? Or are they too cute to remind you of Rocket?

Tea and Books: How To Survive Con-Crud (Or Your Basic Cold)

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.

Bigelow Hero

I proudly survived con season without getting fully sick. I’d claim I was doing something to prevent it, but it was really just luck. While others kept dropping like flies, I kept on going. And now that con season is almost over? I’ve been out of commission for a week with a runny nose, cough, and all around not-good feelings. So what have I been doing to keep myself in good spirits while trying to make myself feel better? (Hint: Drinking a lot of Bigelow Tea.) Read-on for Tara’s “Con-Crud/Cold Survival Guide!”

1. Rest. 

Don’t try to work through it. You’ll just make yourself worse. Make yourself rest. Like me, and can’t stand being away from work and email? Make others tell you to rest. (Mr. Geek’s been good about that.)

2. Get Cozy.

Put on your favorite t-shirt and sweats. Get your fave stuffed animal or pillow. Set yourself up on your bed or a cozy couch, and be prepared to stay there until you feel better!

3. Catch up on your Netflix queue/”To Read” pile. 

Marathoning a tv show is a fantastic way to make yourself sit still and relax, while still entertaining yourself. In past sicknesses, I’ve marathoned Downton Abbey (great if you want to feel fancy while drinking all of your tea), and Brooklyn 99 (because sometimes you just need a silly, feel-good show). Curling up with a good book or comic is a great way to unplug and stay cozy while working through your “to-read” list. This week I did a bit more reading of “The Thousand Dollar Tan Line”, the Veronica Mars book.

Bigelow Book

4. Drink ALL the tea in your favorite mug. 

I’m a huge tea drinker anyway, and when I’m sick, it becomes all I drink. If Mr. Geek or I start to complain about feeling sick, the other one instantly starts to heat up water. So, lucky for me, the stars aligned: I recently heard a fantastic talk from the CEO of Bigelow Tea at the International Food Bloggers Conference, I heard from my in-laws about their trip to Bigelow’s beautiful tea plantation in Charleston, and I was offered the chance to write a blog post about Bigelow. TEA TIME!

Alexander and I hopped in the car and hit up Walmart to pick up some boxes of Bigelow tea. He grabbed Chamomile (his tea of choice), and I grabbed an assorted pack to keep things exciting while home sick, as well as a few other favorite flavors for everyday tea drinking.

Bigelow Aisle

(I’m sick, but so excited for more tea!)

Now I had the tea, and while that’s fantastic, everyone knows tea tastes better and gets you better sooner if it’s in your favorite mug. My fave mug is one I got from Downtown Disney. Look at the adorable princesses! I get a bit happier every time I use it.

Bigelow Mug

The tea helped soothe my sore throat and relax me, and the variety of flavors felt like a “treat” and brought some change to the days at home. Plus, on days when I needed to buck up and head out for a meeting or errand, the green tea gave me just a bit of caffeine to help me out.

So while I continue to kick this cold in the butt, I leave you with this sick selfie toast. Cheers to you, and here’s hoping for a quick recovery!

 Bigelow Sick Selfie

I’m off to stay cozy with my robe and TARDIS pillow, and drink more tea while reading a bit more. What do you do to feel better when you’re home sick?

Thank you to #CollectiveBias and Bigelow Tea for helping me feel better and sponsoring this post! Want to learn more about about #AmericasTea? Check out their Facebook page, Twitter account, and Pinterest board (below)!

The Weirdest “Sexy” Halloween Costumes of 2014

It’s that time of year again! Time to dress up like sexy versions of things while eating candy and watching scary movies? Or something like that? Anyway, it’s time for my annual round-up of the weirdest “sexy” versions of costumes from BuyCostumes.com! And it’s your job to vote for which costume you’d most like to see me in. I will wear the winning costume for a photo shoot and show off the results to you. Because I have no shame. You can see me in 2012’s winning costume here, and 2013’s winning costume here.

So, without further ado, the weirdest “sexy” Halloween costumes of 2014:

Your Favorite Characters

Ruining your childhood, once costume at a time. 



Go ahead, say my name three times…




A plumber’s never looked so good! Just be prepared for a disappointing night of trick or treating–your candy’s always gonna be in a different castle.


“Christmas Story” Bunny

Nope. You should not take a little boy in an awkward bunny outfit and make it sexy. No no no. (Also, for the record, this is an officially licensed product.)




Well, this is a thing. A horrifying thing.

Darth Vader

Darth Vader

Ok, say what you want, but I think this outfit’s pretty hot. I just need to find some stormtroopers to follow me around.

From the Pages

Everyone knows reading is sexy. 


Sexy Detective

Ok, so I won’t ever be able to be as sexy as a certain Sherlock everyone loves so much, but perhaps a dress and a capelet is a good start? Bonus: It includes the magnifying glass and pipe.



“All For You” Musketeer

I’m gonna do nothing but eat 3 Musketeers bars if I wear this costume. And look for the other missing 2 Musketeers. Also, is this someone’s fantasy? Their lady dressed up as a sexy musketeer? No judgements, just wondering.

Sexy Animals

These costumes belong in a heavy petting zoo. 



Howling Adult Hottie Werewolf

I’m glad they clarified that this is an adult hottie werewolf. Wouldn’t want any hot teen wolves running around, now would we? Perk of this costume: you don’t have to shave your legs. Right? That’s how it works?


“Hey, you’re looking pretty good. How about we go back to my place? I’ve got a hot tub…I promise I won’t be shellfish…”




Insert every pun about bananas here.



Stinkin’ Cute Skunk

“Oh, don’t worry about that smell baby. “

From History(?)

You won’t find these hotties in any history books…

Cave Woman

“Goin’ Clubbin” Cave Woman

You better hope this cave woman lived in a temperate climate, or else the only thing she’ll do in this outfit is freeze to death.


Egyptian Cat Goddess

Egyptian Cat Goddess

Ahh, Ancient Egpyt. The only place/time that loved cats as much as the internet does. Be worshipped (or mistaken for Katy Perry) in this Egyptian Cat Goddess costume–it sure beats a keyboard cat costume, anyway.

Sexy Inanimate Objects

You’ll never look at these random objects the same way…



Can someone please explain to me what a “sexy touchdown” is? And why I’d want to dress up as a “touchdown” and not a football player, cheerleader, ref, or heck, even the football itself? And why does it say “Touchdown” on the field-dress?



“Maybe boys will notice me if I just turn into a cartoon mirage-style giant mug of beer!” “But honey, do you want to be noticed ONLY because you’ve turned into a cartoon mirage-style giant mug of beer?” “I guess not, Mom.”


Spicy Taco

Nope. Not touching the puns for this one. Nice of them to add a jaunty culturally appropriated hat.



“I’m sorry, I must have misunderstood you when you said to put on my best salsa dress. I’ll see myself out.”

Kool Aid Man

 Kool-Aid Man

“OH YEAH!” (I’d pair this with fishnets and sexily break down walls ALL THE TIME.)

Which one do you want to see me in? Leave a comment below! I’ll pick a winner based on what gets the most votes in the comments by 11:59pm PST on Thursday, October 9th.

Tara Will Be Playing D&D…For the Kids!

Extra Life Logo_Blue

I’m thrilled to be participating in Extra Life again, a charitable event where folks game for pledges that go towards local children’s hospitals. This year is super exciting, because I’ll be a part of the official Wizards of the Coast D&D game, and will be participating in their live stream!

You can donate to the Seattle Children’s Hospital through my page, and your donations will help shape the character I play for the game, the things the DM allows me to have, and the type of cupcakes I’ll make and bring for my fellow adventurers!

You can also support Mr. Geek, who will be playing with me! He loves to troll the folks he’s playing with, so a donation to him will most likely end up hurting my character in the future. You’ve been warned…

So what are you waiting for? Donate a bit of money for sick kids, and help me create a ridiculous character in the process. Can’t afford to donate? Then please share this post or my page with your friends!

Will you be participating in Extra Life this year?