About Tara

http://www.geekyhostess.com

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 :

Minecraft Cookie Cutters

1207_minecraft_cookie_cutters

How cute are these Minecraft cookie cutters?

ThinkGeek just announced this set of 5 cookie cutters. You get a pickaxe, sword, player, cookie, and creeper all wrapped up in a Minecraft-themed tin. While the creeper is cool because of the cutout in the middle, my favorite shape is the cookie. Make your best sugar cookie recipe, use the Minecraft cookie cutter, and as the cookies come out of the oven and are still warm, stick some square chocolate chunks into them. They’ll look and taste like the chocolate chip image you’re used to seeing! Talk about awesome presentation for a game night.

The Minecraft cookie cutter set is $19.99 at ThinkGeek.

Giant ModCloth Sale!

nowornever

ModCloth is one of those sites that I visit whenever I just want to take a break and look at pretty things. Everything on their store is fun, cute, and so “me.” And I’ve found most of my friends feel the same way. I haven’t purchased something from them yet (but have received items as gifts), but that all may change today. ModCloth is having a huge “Now or Never” sale where items are up to 70% off. The sale will continue as long as the items last. I already see some things I want to snag, like these playing card salt and pepper shakers for $5.99 and these amazing charcoal-grey  boots for $14.99.

Check out everything they have at www.modcloth.com/shop/sale. But go fast, things are already selling out!

Happy 2014!

GH-Booth

Whew! 2013 was a busy but fantastic year, and I can’t wait to see what 2014 has in store for The Geeky Hostess and myself. But before we get too settled into 2014, I wanted to have a quick look back.

In 2013 I:

A huge thank you to everyone who came up and said “Hi” at a convention, left a comment on my post, or shared Geeky Hostess with their friends. I wouldn’t be doing this ridiculously fun site without you and your support!

Here’s a look back at the top 5 most popular posts from 2013:

5. Arrested Development Premiere Party

4. Geeky Cookie Cutters

3. Recipe: Butterbeer Mug Cake

2. Game of Thrones Party

1. Kristina and Tara are Betty and Veronica

What would you like to see more of in 2014? Let me know in the comments! And Happy New Year!

Tara’s Resolutions for 2014

Nothing is Impossible

Before we get into my resolutions for 2014, I want to share a bit about the above picture. This is the product pic for a necklace my dear friend Liz gave me. Whenever I need a little pick-me-up or am about to handle something big and scary, I put it on. Although grammar-lovers may notice the double negative, I think the phrase is absolutely perfect. You see, “Anything is possible” sounds like anything could happen at any time purely out of coincidence. “Nothing is impossible” makes me feel like nothing is out of reach if I work for it. And that’s the big thing: if you work hard, nothing is impossible. Remember that. 

Yes, I know resolutions are a silly thing. We all pledge to better ourselves, and most resolutions barely last a month. Well, that’s a month more than you may be motivated to do otherwise. So while in the past I’ve resolved to not have resolutions, I’ve been spending a lot of time reflecting on myself and how I want to improve. Why not start now? (If it helps, think of resolutions as a chance to give yourself a “yearly review.”)

Here are my resolutions for 2014:

Be More Active
Sure, losing weight would be great. But overall, I want my goal to be more active. Working on the computer all day means I struggle to get any bit of movement in. I pledge to take more steps, make time to exercise, and attempt to relax by going for walks as much as I relax in front of the tv. I’ll be monitoring my progress with my FitBit. Do you use FitBit? Friend me and we can keep each other motivated!

Try a New Recipe Each Week
For the last few years I’ve resolved to cook more at home, and I’ve gotten better at it each year. Making meals at home is healthy, less expensive, and is a fun, relaxing hobby. This year I pledge to go through the recipes I’ve bookmarked in my recipe books but have never made. The goal is to try something new each week, whether it’s a quick snack or a full meal. I’m hoping to broaden my cooking/food horizons and find a few more staples in the process! I’ll keep you updated on any amazing recipes I try.

Set Boundaries
When you work for yourself, you never stop working. I do social media marketing, I run the Geeky Hostess blog/brand, I make online videos, and I do whatever other projects come to my mind each day. I don’t stop. This year, I will. I want to set clear boundaries on when I will and won’t respond to emails or spend time in front of the computer. I want to disconnect from my phone and connect with my friends and family. It may mean someone will have to wait a few extra hours before they hear from me, but in the long run, I think it will help my sanity, relationships, and time management skills. Do you take time to disconnect or set hours when you work for yourself? Any tips or suggestions?

What are your resolutions for the new year?

10 New Year Resolutions for the Geek Community

New Year's Resolution Tee available at shirt.woot.com.

New Year’s Resolution Tee available at shirt.woot.com.

New Year’s Eve is tomorrow. Do you have your resolutions picked out yet? If not, I’d recommend including some of these. These resolutions will help you strengthen your geekness and become a better person. And some of them are just plain fun.

1. Pledge to get fit
And by “fit” I don’t mean “skinny.” Make yourself feel better and help your body perform better by keeping active. Come convention season, you’ll be thrilled to see that you’re not dying after the first day on the convention floor. There are so many fun and geeky ways to get motivated, whether it’s by playing fitness games on your new console, keeping track of your steps with tech like FitBit, or training for a zombie-themed marathon. Find some other geeks who enjoy the same things as you, and have Dance Central nights, or compete to get the most steps each week.

2. Finish that game
We all have it. An unfinished game. A “To Be Read” pile of books. An unopened RPG guide sitting on our shelf. Make the time to finish it. Schedule it into your calendar if you must. Your mind will thank yourself for giving it one less thing to feel guilty about, and you’ll enjoy having some scheduled time to do something you love!

3. Introduce someone new to your fandom
Share your love with others! While they’re geeky or not, introduce your friends and family to something you love in a non-threatening, non-crazy way. Remember that you were noob once too! Tell them why it means so much to you and encourage them to give it a shot. Want to bring a non-geek over to the dark side? Start slow. Maybe watch The Avengers and ask them if any of the characters stood out to them. If they loved Iron Man, then introduce them to some of the other movies, or to some good issues of the comic. Find points that they will relate to that you can talk about.

4. Try a new fandom
There’s a whole lot of geek out there, and there are fandoms you probably haven’t even touched. Ask your friends for recommendations, or do a “fandom swap” and try out each other’s favorite show/movie/book/game. I, for instance, have never seen an episode of Star Trek (although I have seen the recent movies). I’d love to be able to check that out in 2014!

5. Don’t read the comments
Simple as that. Don’t read the comments on  your work, and don’t read the comments on others’. If you need to leave a comment, imagine you’re saying it to someone’s face. When in doubt, don’t be a dick.

6. Support those you love
Your favorite authors, artists, filmmakers, musicians, bloggers, and game makers need your support. Many of them crowdfund their new works and/or accept donations. Tell them you want to see more from them by supporting them financially when you can. Don’t have the money? Not a problem! Help spread the word about their new projects, ask for some of their merch for your birthday, and let them know what you think of them. A kind word or two can mean even more to an artist than money. If you have a convention or event near you that needs speakers or exhibitors, suggest them. You’ll help them grow in popularity which will enable them to create more of the work you love.

7. Attend a con
There is no better feeling than attending a convention for your fandom or hobby. It’s like a giant slumber party love-fest of meeting people that “get it” while learning all of the coolest news, trying new products, and meeting your idols. GO. There is likely one near you, and likely one for just what you’re into. You don’t have to go to one of the big comic-cons. Start small if you want. Just try one.

8. Dress up for your next game night
Show everyone that geeks can look good. Instead of throwing on the closest jeans and t-shirt and heading out the door (I’m guilty of doing this), take some time to put together an outfit that makes you look and feel amazing. Who knows what may come of it: you could meet a new friend (or lover), encourage your friends to start regular “Dapper Days” in your game group, or even play better with your new-found confidence!

9. Find a healthy go-to gaming food
Yes, Cheetos are delicious, but are they the best thing you should be eating? As my friends and I get further away from those days in high school and college where we can eat anything, we’re trying to find healthier alternatives to our favorite snack foods. Try veggies and hummus, air-popped popcorn, or a homemade version of something you normally get from a drive-through or a convenience store!

10. Disconnect
I know, I know. You’re tech savvy and your job and hobbies all revolve around your phone, computer, and tv screen. But find some time to disconnect. Set daily limits for the amount of time you’re gaming or on reddit. Don’t refresh your phone looking for new emails after 10pm. Pick up and read a physical book instead of grabbing your Kindle. Eat dinner with friends or your family without the tv on and with phones put away. Sure, you won’t be able to take a selfie or tweet about your meal, but you’ll be able to reconnect with the people that are right in front of you. It’ll be worth it.

Any other resolutions you think the geek community should make? Let me know in the comments! And come back tomorrow for my personal list of resolutions.

Doctor Who Christmas Special: Dress Like Clara

Clara

Clara was sporting a cute look in this year’s Christmas Special, and the look is easy to replicate for any day. Whether you want to cosplay as her or are inspired by her “appropriate for the family AND fake-boyfriend” look, you’ll succeed in this outfit. No holograms needed.

Go school-girl chic with a plaid skirt, thick tights, a frilly button-up, and a cardigan. Add some edge with black booties and spiked/studded jewelry. And of course, it wouldn’t be a Christmas or New Year’s outfit without accessories from a party cracker! I like these.

What did you think of Clara’s look? And what did you think of Matt Smith’s final episode? Are you ready for a new Doctor?

Friday Favorites: December 20

Friday Faves 12-20

The year is almost over, and most of my time has been spent trying to wrap up things from 2013 before taking some time off to spend with family. But my mind keeps wandering to 2014 and what’s in store… I’ve got big plans and can’t wait to sit down and assess the projects in my life and find ways to make them bigger and better.

When I haven’t been bogged down with all of that, I’ve been checking out the following:

Favorite Tumblr: The Bob’s Burger Experiment
Someone is making all of the burger specials that are on the board in “Bob’s Burgers.” I want to eat them all. While kicking myself for not coming up with this first. Check it out!

Favorite Music: The NSYNC Christmas Album. 
WHAT. Judge me all you want. It’s not Christmas until I listen to it.

Favorite Food: Muddy Buddies
This is my go-to holiday snack. It’s quick, easy, and delicious. The only problem is I end up eating way more than I should. Whatever, I’m gonna make some more tonight. Make some yourself.

Favorite Holiday Helpers: Whole Foods Wine and Cheese Department
I went to a wine and cheese pairing tasting last week at Whole Foods, and it was amazing. The wine and cheese folks at Whole Foods are ridiculously knolwedgeable, and are pretty sassy/fun to boot. I gave them some of my toughest questions (“What’s a good riesling for someone who doesn’t like rieslings?,” “What’s your dirtiest, earthiest tasting wine, and what cheese should I pair with it?” and “Got any wines from the Horse Heaven Hills area?”) and they were able to answer them all with flying colors. Plus, their wines were not as spendy as I thought they’d be. If you need to grab a wine or a nice cheese for a party or gift, hit them up and challenge their knowledge. You’ll walk out with something great.

What are you loving this week?

Use DogeCoin at the Geeky Hostess Store

Doge

…Yep. Until 10pm PST on Friday, December 20th, you can use DogeCoin as currency at the Geeky Hostess Store.

Why? Why not. Here are other questions you may have.

What is DogeCoin? 

DogeCoin is a cryptocurrency created a little less than 2 weeks ago. It started off as a parody of BitCoin, but has taken on a life of its own.

Why not just accept BitCoin?

Because DogeCoin is cuter. And based on a meme. But seriously, BitCoin has become unmineable for the average person, and DogeCoin is a fun way to be introduced into the concept of cryptocurrency. So Fun. Much Coin.

I am a DogeCoin millionaire. Can I buy your whole store?

No, please. There is a limit of one of each item in my store per DogeCoin-paying customer. You may, however, buy more items with US Currency.

How do I buy things from you?

Since there isn’t a prebuilt way to do that (yet!), here’s how it works:

  1. Pick what you want in the store.
  2. Email me at tara(at)geekyhostess.com with what you want and your physical address.
  3. I’ll message you back with a wallet address.
  4. You send Doge to the wallet, and when it arrives, I ship your things.

How do I get started with DogeCoin? 

Go here!

I want more info. 

That’s not a question. But check out my reddit post, leave a comment, or shoot me an email and I’ll be happy to answer any additional questions!

Choose the Fourth Game of Thrones Beer

GoTBeer

For those that may not be aware, HBO teams up withBrewery Ommegang to create Game of Thrones beers. They sell out super quick, and the third beer, Fire & Blood, is coming out at the end of March.

HBO, however, is already making plans for the fourth beer in the series, and they want your help. Visit the Game of Thrones Facebook page and vote for which of these Belgian beers should be made for the Fall:

1) Valar Morghulis - Dubbel - Valar Morghulis is an Old Valyrian saying closely associated with the desire for vengeance. Thus, a Belgian-style Dubbel was chosen to capture the sweetness of revenge as well as the dangerous consequences that come with it.

2) Hand of the King - Quadrupel - The responsibility of running a kingdom can only be matched by the complexity of a Belgian-style Quadrupel ale. Rich in flavor and dark in color, a Quad is the perfect companion for waging war, brokering peace, or enduring a Small Council meeting.

3) Seven Kingdoms - Tripel - The golden Tripel is the universally agreed pinnacle of Belgian brewing achievement, making it the perfect beer to represent the legacy of the Seven Kingdoms. Though supremely drinkable, the Tripel comes with a spicy character that represents the sordid events of the history of Westeros.

4) Khal - Quadrupel - The Dothraki people, like the Belgian-style Quad, are the strongest of the strong and Boldest of the bold. Quads rest atop the pyramid of Belgain beer because of their strength, so this style makes a fitting tribute to the men that rule the mighty Khalisars of Essos.

I’m voting for the Valar Morghulis myself. What are you voting for? (Vote soon, it’s only open for 2 days!)

Apparently Everyone You Know Wants this Snuggie for Christmas

harrypottersnuggieIt’s story time. Once upon a time (Or about a year and a half ago), I wrote a post about this Harry Potter snuggie. To this day, it is still one of my most popular posts and gets me the most affiliate money from Amazon. When people purchase this snuggie, they don’t just buy one. They buy DOZENS. There are entire families that get this snuggie for Christmas. And I want to see pictures.

Anyway, I thought it was time to do an update post and let everyone know that apparently you are either getting this snuggie for Christmas or giving it for Christmas. Consider this a PSA.

Or perhaps you’re looking for a more Winter-appropriate scarf-look for your snuggie?

Harry Potter not your thing? Never fear, there are other novelty snuggies for you and your loved ones!

Bilbo Snuggie Maybe you’ve always wanted to look like Bilbo Baggins?

Gandalf Snuggie Or you need a Gandalf snuggie to wear in the theater when you see The Hobbit?

Superman Snuggie …Or you want to feel a bit more Super when lying around the house? (These snuggies are also available in Wonder Woman and Batman.)

No matter what your favorite fandom is, you can comfortably cosplay from home with these snuggies. Or hell, get them all like the super cheery model above and switch them out based on which movie you’re currently watching. Just act quick because these snuggies are extremely popular. Yeah, I don’t get it either.