Recipe: Butterbeer Mug Cake

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It’s getting chilly, which means it’s perfect time to cozy up with a hot cup of mug cake. And with the announcement of new movies being made in the Harry Potter ‘verse, it only made sense to figure out how to make a Butterbeer Mug Cake. All you need on a crisp fall day is this and a good book.

I teamed up with Kristina Horner (the resident Harry Potter expert) to film a video on how to make the cake, and then we sat down for a nice discussion/speculation session on the new “Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them” movie(s). Check out both videos below! And keep reading for the recipe. As long as you have some basic ingredients, a mug, and 90 seconds, you can have Butterbeer Mug Cake.

Butterbeer Mug Cake

Ingredients:

  • 4 TBS Flour
  • 2 TBS Brown Sugar (I used light brown)
  • 2 TBS White Sugar
  • 2 TBS Vegetable Oil
  • 2 TBS Cream Soda
  • A pinch of Salt
  • A dash of Imitation Butter Flavor (optional)
  • Whipped Cream

Directions:

Place all ingredients except for the whipped cream into a microwave-safe mug and mix.

Microwave the mug for 90 seconds.

Carefully remove and let cool for a few seconds.

Top with whipped cream.

Enjoy!

The mug cake is best enjoyed soon after baking while it’s still warm and gooey.

Easy, huh? Let me know what you think of the mug cake in the comments!

The Top “Sexy” Costumes for 2013

I’m at it again! With the help of BuyCostumes.com, I’m showcasing my favorite ridiculous-yet-sexy Halloween costumes of the year, and YOU will pick one I have to wear. I’ll pick the winning costume on October 1st and will do a photo shoot with it. It shall be glorious. So take a look at some of the newest “sexy” costumes and let me know your thoughts!

As Seen on TV
Ruining your childhood, one sexy costume at a time…

Cheetarah

Cheetarah
“Thundercats, HO!” Get used to that. You’ll be hearing it wherever you go in this costume.

CSI

CSI
This appears to be a crime scene costume more than a “CSI” costume, unless they’re suggesting you go as the whole show? Either way, I’ll be making terrible puns and one-liners ALL night.

Supreme Beauty

Lil’ Miss Supreme Beauty
Because nothing says “sexy” like a little girl with tons of makeup on.

Marge

Marge Simpson
Marge is ready for a night out on the town in this “glitzy” version of her signature outfit.

Pink Ranger

Power Rangers – Pink Ranger

This costume kind of feels like a combo of the Pink Ranger and Baby Spice, so I guess I could just go as my childhood?

On The Big Screen
No 3D glasses needed.

Boba Fett

Boba Fett
I actually really like this style of costume. I would potentially re-wear the dress for conventions, and the knit cap and knee socks could be worn again on normal days. The costume is also available as a stormtrooper and as Darth Vader.

Ghost Face

Ghost Face (AKA the killer from Scream)
I guess they had to make a porn version of Scream sometime, eh? I love that the mask is on a pretty masquerade stick so you don’t have to wear it around all night.

Ghostbusters

Ghostbusters
Single? Dressing up as a ghostbuster may be one of the easiest ways to give out your number to dozens of people. Just don’t cross the streams and try not to get slime on your dress.

Green Lantern

Green Lantern
You may not be the greatest superhero, but you’ve got a nice ring. (Also a great body coughRyanReynoldscough.)

Sassy Sully

Sassy Sulley
This wins the “Really? Someone decided this costume was a good idea?” award for the year. If you desperately want to be a “Sassy Sulley” to complete your friends’ Monsters Inc. group costume this year, this costume is for you.

RoboCop

RoboCop
2013 is the last year you can wear this version of the RoboCop costume–once the movie comes out in 2014, everyone will be wanting a black version. And it would be SO embarrassing if your sexy RoboCop costume wasn’t the newest color. TOTAL Halloween faux-pas.

Video Games
Go ahead, ruin the childhood memories of your favorite gamers.

Sonic

Sonic The Hedgehog
This officially licensed costume is actually pretty cute, even if it would probably ruin Mr. Geek’s childhood for him.

Pikachu

Pikachu
Loving this trend of girls wearing the faces of the characters they’re portraying on their heads like some sort of deranged killer/cannibal.

Disney
Not all Disney characters are G-rated…

Peter Pan

Peter Pan
You may not be allowed to be within 1,000 feet of a school while wearing this outfit, but you’ll look super cute anyway! (And seriously? Why did Disney license a costume for a grown woman that say “I <3 Lost Boys” on it?)

Seductive Sorceress

Seductive Sorceress
You know, even Maleficent needs a night off and a chance to put on a little dress and go out on the town. Can you blame her? It’s gotta be draining to be evil all the time.

Mythological Beasts
Perhaps it’s best if these creatures don’t really exist…

Magic Dragon

Magic Dragon
Apparently this is a dragon. And also apparently baggy leg warmers is now a trend in “sexy” outfits?

Magical Unicorn

Magical Unicorn
The link for this says you’ll be “hot, hoofed, and horny” and that’s way more explicit than anything I’d write. Enjoy.

You’re a Grand Old Flag

God Bless America…

Flag Dress

USA Flag
This seems like one of those awkward costumes a small-town pageant would make its contestants wear on a float. And that makes me love it even more. If I get this, you can bet the Constitution that I’ll be re-wearing it on the 4th of July.

What are you going to be for Halloween? Any of these strike your fancy? You can check out all of BuyCostumes’ sexy Halloween costumes and new Halloween costumes for 2013 at BuyCostumes.com. And don’t forget to vote on your favorite “sexy” costume in the comments below. Remember: The one with the most votes is the one I have to do a photo shoot with! Oh boy.

3-D Print Your Dreams with Shapeways

Shapeways

Shapeways, an online maker and seller of 3D printed products, contacted me asking if I would be interested in reviewing their products. I’ve been interested in 3D printing for a while, and loved the chance to see some items up close as well as ask one of their designers some questions about the process. I picked out two products in different materials so I could see a variety, and I just happened to pick out two Harry Potter-inspired items. 😉 Check out my reviews of the products and an interview with Designer Evangelist Duann Scott, as well as Seedling Design shop owners Chris Schmidt and Megan Ender.

Deathly Hallows Dice Set 
3D printed dice sets are ridiculously awesome. You can play around a lot with the individual shapes and designs and you can make it out of so many different materials. I chose to have my dice set made out of “Black Strong and Flexible” as it seems to be a 3D printed standard. The material is extremely lightweight but feels nearly indestructible. The design of the dice itself is beautiful, but a bit difficult to read in its normal state. The link has some great examples of dice that have been painted, so I’ll most likely be doing that to my dice very soon.

Ravenclaw Crest Necklace
Although I’ll always be a little bit Hufflepuff at heart, Pottermore sorted me into Ravenclaw and I feel like it was time to rock the crest. Ordering this gave me a chance to check out 3D printed metal, and it’s pretty cool. I got the pendant in stainless steel, and it looks like a nice piece of jewelry you’d get anywhere else. The steel is almost a bit gold/bronzeish in certain light, has a textured look to it, and has a good weight to it. The design itself has quite a bit of detail and looks almost stacked on each other. I can’t wait to put it onto a chain and wear it around!

Interview with Designer Evangelist Duann Scott

Duann was kind enough to answer some of my questions about 3D printing. Want to know more about the process? Read on! (And special thanks to Seedling Design shop owners Chris Schmidt and Megan Ender who chimed in on the last question!)

1. Why 3D printing? What makes it so much better than other methods of creating?
Duann: 3D printing makes it easier for people to make exactly what they want in a range of materials from plastics to stainless steel, ceramics to Sterling silver. Because you can make an object exactly the way you want it, you do not need to settle for a mass produced item that is ‘close enough’ to what you want.  With 3D printing, it does not matter how complex an item is, as the cost is calculated by the amount of material used only.

2. What type of object is most recommended for 3D printing? Anything that doesn’t work as well?
Duann: When you make anything, be it a bike or a cake, it is important to choose the right tools and the right materials, the same is true with 3D printing. Laser sintered Nylon is incredibly versatile in that you can make anything from a structural furniture component to an iPhone case, a fully articulated garment to a static bracket, it is important to design to the material limitations.  3D Printing is currently best used for smaller complex parts, it does not make sense to 3D print one hundred thousand golf tees, unless each one is unique.

3. You have a variety of materials available for 3D printing. Any new materials coming to the site soon? Anything you’re working on?
Duann: We currently have over 30 material options on Shapeways, a range of plastics, ceramics and precious metals.  Over the coming weeks we will be introducing more jewelry grade precious metals to our material option. We have some really exciting new materials that will not be available until early 2014!

4. What are your tips for someone that wants to create something through Shapeways.com?
Duann: When designing for 3D printing with Shapeways, it is important to use the right 3D modeling application and material for your project.  If you are doing organic forms I recommend a surface modeler, if you are doing mechanical parts it is easier to design with a solid modeling application.  Choosing the right material is also very important, if you have a functioning part I recommend Nylon or Stainless Steel, if you are looking for and incredibly high detail our Acrylic has details down to the microns, and if you are designing jewelry, our Sterling Silver and Gold Plated Brass is beautiful.

Chris and Megan: 3D printing allows you to create anything that you can imagine, but it’s important to really get to know the technology. Designers and artists who take the time to become experts in 3D printing will definitely be forefront of cutting edge technology.

Interested in learning more about 3D printing or getting something printed yourself? Check out Shapeways.com! And let me know your thoughts on 3D printing in the comments.

Friday Favorites: September 20

Friday Faves Sept 20

This week has been book-ended with weddings, which means love is all around! I’m such a sucker for weddings. There’s a romantic story with a happy ending, dancing, cake, and a themed party. I can’t get enough. While I pack my waterproof mascara and fancy dresses, check out some of my favorite things from the past week!

Favorite Video: DIY DAMMIT
Nerdist announced a new show on their channel called DIY Dammit. It’s funny, informative, interesting, and everything I want out of a crafting show. I could watch these all day, but unfortunately there are only two out so far. Check back each Monday for more! Start your addiction with these two: How To Make a Dinosaur Planter and How To Make a Boy Scout Shirt Pillow.

Favorite Kickstarter: Mission: G.E.E.K. (Ginormous Exciting EBook Kaper!)
Alan Kistler and Jessica Mills are going on a road trip to see the exciting geeky things in the US, and on the way they’ll be recording their adventure in an E-Book, web series, and photo diaries. These two are amazing, entertaining, and all around great people. I can’t wait to see what comes of this! Back their project here.

Favorite Beauty Items: Julep Maven’s October Box
I just got to pick my selection for the upcoming Julep Maven box, and I’m really excited. These boxes come with a new Julep eyeliner as well as nail colors from the “Rebel Collection.” The Bombshell box includes a great sparkly teal and a rubbery/matte looking black that will be perfect for cosplay. They also have some fantastic add-on colors including a shimmery glow in the dark polish called “Casper.” Check it out!

Favorite Game: Magic: the Gathering
I’ve recently become kinda hooked on MTG. I still have a lot to learn, and I lose most of my games, but I’ve been enjoying getting to know the cards. I’ve been playing a lot of red decks, and I hope to check out black and white next  draft. Don’t know much about Magic? Visit their site!

What amazing things have you discovered this week?

Quingo: Play iPad Games for Charity

quingo image

Lately I’ve been playing an iPad game or two to unwind and relax before I head to bed in the evenings. They’re fun, but one or two quick games can turn into five or six games, and before I know it, a half hour has gone by. The games that keep track of how long you’ve spent playing just make me depressed. I’ve wasted that much time?

Luckily, when I play Quingo, a new iPad game that launches today, I don’t feel like I’m wasting time. The more I play, the more money goes to charity!

Quingo is a cross between a quiz game and bingo. You are given something to look for (For instance, “characters in Harry Potter books”) and must find the five answers in a bingo board of options. You’re timed, and each wrong answer reduces your time more. A game is played in 5 rounds, and at the end, your score (or “hope points”) goes towards the charity of your choice. I chose Seattle Children’s Hospital for mine.

The game is currently available to download for free for iPad, and other mobile options will be made available later in the year. Find out more about the game here and download it here.

Give the game a try and let me know what charity you’re playing for! I’ll be playing mine and watching the “points you’ve given” number keep going up.

Bake with Doctor Who

The other day, Kristen Hackett from On Wednesdays We Wear Pink introduced me to Dalek Cupcake toppers. I had a bit of a freak out moment. Why aren’t these in my life, and how quickly can I get them? Who makes these? Do they make other things? Why is it only available on Amazon UK?

I did some sleuthing, and came across the company that makes them. Guess what: They’ve made a full set of amazing Doctor Who baking and party supplies. Be still my beating heart. Unfortunately for me, the company is based in the UK, and shipping to the US starts at around $40. I may have to love these all from afar for the moment, but hopefully some of you are able to get them!

Here are some of my favorite pieces from their collection:

TARDIS Cupcake Kit

TARDIS Cupcake Kit Two different patterns of cupcake wrappers, 4 different types of toppers, and it call comes packaged in a mini TARDIS? Yep. Need it. £9.99.

Dalek Cake Stand

Dalek Cake Stand This cake stand would make the coolest centerpiece for a Doctor Who party, or a great way to display cupcakes for a Whovian’s birthday. £7.99.

TARDIS Chocolate Mold

TARDIS Chocolate Mold This chocolate mold features 6 different Doctor Who designs. These would make super cute gifts or party favors! £4.99.

Doctor Who Dusting Set

Doctor Who Dusting Set This set allows you to dust powdered sugar, cocoa, or other fun ingredients over cupcakes, cakes, the foam on your coffee, and whatever else we can think of. This is super classy looking! £3.49.

Dalek Cake Mold

Dalek Cake EXTERMINATE the cupcakes and go for one large cake with this fantastic Dalek Cake Mold. I mean, just look at it! £16.99.

See the entire Doctor Who collection from Lakeland at Lakeland.co.uk.

Which of these Doctor Who items are you wishing will appear in your kitchen?

Wood For Sheep: The Unauthorized Settlers Cookbook

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You all know I love theming my food and drinks with my game nights, but I never realized how easy (or tasty) it could be for Settlers of Catan until I read this cookbook. Chris-Rachael Oseland (who also wrote the Doctor Who cookbook I love) put together an assortment of delicious recipes that can team up to form various Settlers maps, using these hexagonal containers. The best part of her maps? Every set has something that someone can eat. If they can’t, she provides options to make them more friendly to dairy free, gluten free, meat free, or other dietary restrictors.

These recipes are absolutely perfect for game night: Most can be set up before folks come over, and people can help themselves throughout the night. No fuss from you when you want to be playing games, and the recipes are all healthier than the standard pizza run.

You can find the book at Amazon for $13.64. Even if you’re not the biggest Settlers fan, I promise, this will be a fantastic base for any gathering of geeks.

Grand Theft Auto V: The Movie

My friends at Cinesaurus asked me to be a part of their most recent video, and I had a blast getting to nag and yell at a fictional husband for a night. The finished product is a look at Grand Theft Auto V if it became a bit Inception-ized. It’s pretty sweet. Check it out (and look for my two cameos) here:

You can also see an extended cut of the scene where I’m yelling at Michael in the Behind the Scenes. They gave me some background info on the characters and let me run with it. It was a lot of fun! (My part starts at 6:55, but the whole video is really interesting!)

Will you be picking up GTA V tonight when it comes out?

Friday Favorites: Friday 13

Friday Faves Sept 13

It’s Friday the 13th! But instead of focusing on superstitions, I’m making hundreds of cupcakes and celebrating the love of some good friends at their wedding. It shall be a glorious day! While I’m busy making cupcakes and tearing up at vows, you can check out some of my favorite things from the past week!

Favorite Video: Cinderonce
Todrick Hall, who apparently was on American Idol and is also a thing on YouTube, made this fantastic video retelling the story of Cinderella through Beyonce songs. It’s worth watching for the costumes and choreography alone. Find it on YouTube.

Favorite TV Show: Bob’s Burgers
Yeah, yeah. It’s been on for years. I just started watching Bob’s Burgers a month or so ago and I can’t get enough of it. It’s funny, quirky, and actually kind of sweet.

Favorite News: JK Rowling’s Writing a Screenplay!
JK Rowling is creating a screenplay based on the Hogwarts textbook “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.” It will focus on the author of the book, Newt Scamander, and will take place 70 years prior to the Harry Potter series, and will start in New York. All exciting things! Read all about it here.

Favorite Clothing: BlackMilk’s Harry Potter Collection
It’s as if BlackMilk knew of the JK Rowling announcement when they decided to push their Harry Potter line launch back to this week. The clothing is all really fun looking, and I’m coveting the Marauder’s Map dress, but unfortunately, BlackMilk prices are still pretty steep. I’m holding out for another sale around my birthday like they did last year! See the whole collection here.

What amazing things have you discovered in the past week?

Hey Girl, Thomas Edison Likes You

GE has started some kind of marketing campaign of some type that involves them creating “Hey Girl” memes, but replacing Ryan Gosling with Thomas Edison. It works. It works so well. Check them all out on their Pinterest page and send your favorite to some fellow geeky ladies. Below are some of my faves:

GEgirl2

GEgirl1

GEgirl3

I’m expecting a Tesla version to pop up any moment. Seriously. One of you, get on that.