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.

Holiday Gift Guide: Gifts for the White Elephant Exchange

It seems like every workplace has them now. You have a price limit and you have to find a fun and quirky gift to bring. Here are some suggestions for fun geeky white elephant gifts that people will be fighting over. These gifts also make great stocking stuffers, Secret Santa gifts, or gifts for acquaintances/co-workers–every item here is under $20!

 Nebula-Keycal
Keycals
Liven up your keyboard with these cute decals made to fit your keys! They have a variety to choose from, or you can have custom keycals made. I love their nebula design as well as their smaller set of Star Trek-inspired keycals. $7 for a small set, $16 for a full set at Kidecals.com.

Test Tube Infuser
Test Tube Tea Infuser
Everyone likes tea, right? And science? People like science? This test tube tea infuser isn’t just a cute novelty product, it honestly seems like a nicer design than other infusers I’ve seen. Pair it with some of your favorite loose leaf tea for a fantastic gift! $11.99 at ThinkGeek.com.

LEGO
LEGO USB Drive
I’ve had a pink version of this LEGO USB drive on my keychain for a couple years now, and I absolutely love it. It’s cute and geeky without being too flashy or cumbersome, and it actually serves a purpose. I can transfer files, photos, videos, music, etc. back and forth without worrying about forgetting it somewhere (since it’s on my keys). Bonus? The 4 GB Drive is only $12.99 from Amazon.

Library Candle
Charles Dickens-inspired Candle
Paddywax’s Library candle collection features scents inspired by different classic authors. The Dickens candle is perfect for the holidays, and will inspire the recipient to cozy up with a book. The scent mix includes tangerine, juniper, and clove. The travel tin is available for $14.20 from Amazon. Pair the candle with a favorite book for a fantastic gift!

What are you bringing to gift exchanges?

Quick Holiday Recipe: Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls

Planters Peanut Butter Balls

Around this time of year, my apartment goes missing and in its place is a workshop of chocolatey proportions. I have traditional holiday candies I make every year as well as some other basic treats to bring over to potlucks and parties, and any other homemade gifts Mr. Geek and I concoct. And while some of the candies and gifts are fairly tedious to make, there’s one that I love making over and over, and it’s these chocolate peanut butter balls.

I wish I could say the recipe has been passed down for generations, but in reality I found a magazine clipping years back and have made it my own since. These peanut butter balls are easy to make, take under an hour (plus some chill time in the fridge), and are absolutely delicious. I usually make way more than I actually need to give out, and steal some whenever I need a quick pick-me-up. So if you’re looking for a quick and delicious treat to make for the office party or need a creative and homemade gift for a friend or family member, don your apron and get ready to party. (Bonus: Kraft currently has a ton of coupons you can use at Target, and you can use them to save $1 off of the peanut butter used in the recipe!)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls

Ingredients:

  • Approx. 4 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 2 sticks (8 oz.) Melted Butter
  • 1 cup (8 oz.) Planter’s Peanut Butter (I used creamy, but feel free to go wild with crunchy or one of their other flavors!)
  • 2 11.5 oz bags of Milk Chocolate Chips
  • Sprinkles (optional)

Directions:

In a large bowl, mix together the powdered sugar, melted butter, and peanut butter until smooth. Consistency should be almost play-doh like and easy to roll into a ball. If not, add more powdered sugar.

Roll the mixture into small, even balls (around the size of a large marble or gumball).

Melt the milk chocolate chips in a double boiler or by very carefully microwaving them in a bowl for 30 seconds at a time. Don’t burn the chocolate!

Dip the balls in the milk chocolate until they’re evenly coated and place on a wax paper-covered cookie sheet. Top the chocolate covered balls with some sprinkles if you’d like (I love the extra crunch and pop of color!), and then place in the fridge for around an hour to chill.

Package them up for your friends/parties before you eat them all yourself.

Or heck, just eat them all yourself.

What’s your go-to holiday treat?

From shopping for gifts to planning family dinners, it’s hard to keep up with all your holiday to-do’s. This year, Kraft is helping out with great weeknight meals and entertaining ideas to make the season a little bit easier. Plus, Kraft is offering up to $20 in coupons, redeemable exclusively at Target, to make food shopping easier and to help you have a happy holiday season.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Kraft. The opinions and text are all mine.

Holiday Gift Guide: Gifts for the Girly Geek

If your friends/family members like makeup as much as comics and enjoys the occasional rom-com in between their action movies, these gifts and brands are for them. These gifts are also fantastic for the sister, Mom, or friend that claims they’re “not geeky.” Bring them over to the dark side gently with these fun products!

FPSCollection
Espionage Cosmetics
Wonderful makeup with geeky names? Yes please. All of their colors are available at EspionageCosmetics.com, or you can get the tried and true Geeky Hostess Collection. I picked my fave, most versatile colors and put them together for an epic kit. $26 at the Geeky Hostess Store.

blackmilk
Black Milk
Tiny dresses, amazing leggings, and fun clothing featuring licensed designs. Past geek realms have included Harry Potter, Adventure Time, Star Wars, LOTR, and Mass Effect. You can’t go to a convention or geeky party without seeing at least one girl in Black Milk. Don’t be left out! blackmilkclothing.com.

Screen Shot 2013-12-09 at 9.50.49 PM
Mighty Fine
For more licensed apparel, you’ve gotta check out Mighty Fine. I’m in love with their sweater collection they’ve released this season, including this fantastic Vader sweater. $35 at Welovefine.com.

GH Store- Princess Tank
Geeky Hostess Princess Tank (and Geeky Hostess collection)
Show off your love for the Disney Princesses you grew up with in this fun, layerable tank top. $14 exclusively at the Geeky Hostess Store.

cinderella
Sephora Disney Collection
My friends and I are in love with the Sephora Disney Collections. We get so excited when they announce a new princess and can’t wait to see what they come up with for colors. I have the larger Cinderella eye palette that’s no longer available, and it’s amazing. The quality of the makeup is great and the Disney tie-in is a fantastic gimmick that gets me buying. I’m still waiting for them to put out a Belle collection! All items are limited edition, so get ‘em quick! $19-58 at Sephora.

spiffing
Spiffing Jewelry
I’m gonna pull the “hipster” card on Spiffing Jewelry and claim that I liked them before they were cool. I saw them at some tiny craft show in San Diego years ago, and have loved seeing their business grow over the years. They create cute, hand stamped items with geeky and personalized sayings. I used to have bracelets from them that said “Cupcakes and Charisma” and “Geeky Hostess” but ended up wearing them daily and lost/broke them both. Maybe Santa will replace them for Christmas! (Or get me a floating locket…or some of the stacking rings…) Check out all of their goodies at SpiffingJewelry.com

f24c_european-style_charm_bracelet
Geeky European-style Charm Bracelet
ThinkGeek has caught onto the trend of the European-style charm bracelet. You’ll see these charm shops in malls and airports, encouraging you to make a bracelet as unique as the woman it’s for. Now you actually can with awesome geeky charms! $12.99-39.99 at ThinkGeek.com.

BSG Shirt
Her Universe Apparel
I’ve been collecting my fair share of Her Universe apparel since they started their shop, and I love everything. They have fandoms I adore like Doctor Who and BSG, and cuts that are way cuter than the boxy “unisex” tees that used to be the only things available at cons. Lately I’ve been obsessed with their BSG Seal Sweatshirt. I got one for my birthday, and it’s SO ridiculously comfy and cute. It has a wide scoop neck, is super long, and looks fantastic with leggings or skinny jeans. In fact, I loved it so much, I got another one in a size Large to giveaway! Just enter the Rafflecopter below to win! I’ll pick a winner in a week so we can hopefully get it to you before Christmas!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What are you getting the girly-geeks on your holiday list?

Holiday Gift Guide: Gifts for the Geeky Host/Hostess

The holidays are the time for parties and traveling. Whether you’re stopping by for a cookie exchange, spending the weekend with friends or family, or just need a gift for a geeky cook or entertainer in your life, these gifts will guarantee you get more invites in the new year.

GH Store Apron
Geeky Hostess Apron
Ok, this one’s kind of a no-brainer. You’re on The Geeky Hostess looking for gifts for a Geeky Hostess. Get her the Geeky Hostess apron! Problem solved. $16 at The Geeky Hostess Store.

Your vision through our eyes!
Santa Apron
Looking for something a bit more festive? This Santa apron is super cute and will get you (or the host/hostess you give it to) in the mood to make ALL the Christmas cookies. $14.99 at MelissaAnne.com.

corkcicle
Corkcicle
Why bring a bottle of wine when you can bring something that will be used every time they open one? I have a corkcicle and love it–if I ever want to open a bottle of white wine, I can just put a corkcicle in it. It keeps the bottle cold once it’s open and sitting out for guests. My favorite design is the Corkcicle One, which allows you to pour the wine while the corkcicle is still in the bottle. They’ve come up with a variety of colors since last year, and even have one for your beer. $20-$50 at Corkcicle.com.

PowerMitt
Power Mitt
If your host is into gaming, get him/her the Power Mitt–an oven mitt inspired by the Nintendo Power Glove. It’s hilarious AND practical. And that’s a tough combo to beat. $15 at fangamer.net.

downton abbey wine
Downton Abbey Wine
The host will feel extra fancy with a bottle of Downton Abbey wine. They can have their servants put it out when guests are due to arrive, or they can just keep it for their next Netflix marathon. $16.99 at DowntonAbbeyWine.com.

Basil Garden
Nudo
I’ve written about them a couple times, and that’s because I love them. What host wouldn’t want olive oil or tea from a specific tree or garden they’ve adopted? It makes a great story for their next dinner party! I particularly love their kitchen plant kits. They have ones for chili, basil, and olive trees! $22 at NudoAdopt.com.

14d6_critical_hit_5_stones_of_frost
D20 Stones
Does your host like whisk(e)y and RPGs? These D20-shaped stones will keep their drinks epically cool during their next game night. Set of 2 for $29.99 at ThinkGeek.com.

d20 ice
D20 Ice Mold
Not a fan of stones in your drink? This mold will allow you to make ice (or whatever else you want to put in it) into the shape of a D20. Great for a crafty host/hostess or anyone who likes to entertain often! $11.99 at ThinkGeek.com.

cupcakecarrier
Cupcake Carrier
This cupcake carrier is one of my absolute favorite things. If your host is a cupcake baker, this is the handiest, most wonderful carrier. Plus, they can use it to bring cupcakes to your place next time you host them! $29.95 at Amazon.

What gifts will you be getting for the hosts/hostesses in your life?