Printed Leggings For Under $15

This morning I did a dangerous thing: I clicked on a link for mermaid print leggings on Amazon. This resulted in my clicking more and more suggested links and falling in love with ALL the leggings. Lucky for me, these leggings are cheap. If I bought all of the pairs I wanted, it still wouldn’t equal the cost of one pair from BlackMilk. So I’ve decided to bring you into this dangerous rabbit hole with me. Welcome to my fave finds for leggings under $15.

Warning: I have not tried any of these leggings myself, so I can’t speak to the quality. Many of them only come in one size, so make sure you read the description to see if they’ll fit you. I’d also recommend checking the comments before purchasing to get an idea of the quality. Worst case, you’re out $10.

 

Mermaid Print Leggings

Screen Shot 2014-02-12 at 11.34.44 AM Cute and scaley, these leggings can work for mermaid or dragon cosplay, or as a fun pop of color under a black dress. $9.97.

Galaxy Print Leggings

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Galaxy print leggings seems to be one of the go-tos for any printed legging company. I love these ones because they come in a variety of colors. Seen here is “Black.” I like these and the “Colorful” option. $12.45.

Middle Earth Map Leggings

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So, they’re most likely not licensed or as good of quality as Black Milk, but they’re SO cheap. And cute. $10.37.

Starry Night Leggings

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Get your favorite piece of art on your legs! These are also popular with Whovians. $13.85.

Artoo and Threepio Leggings

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Another non-licensed item that you don’t feel that bad about getting. As long as you don’t mind heads near your crotch, that is. $9.91

Hamlet Black Leggings

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HAMLET. WRITTEN ON YOUR LEGS. These are my favorite of the bunch. I think it’s subtle enough to be able to worn with almost anything, and it’s just awesome. Plus, if you can read upside down, you’ll never be bored on the bus! $14.04.

Have you tried any of these leggings? Are they worth getting?

Galentine’s Day Party

Waffle Bar Collage

You know Valentine’s Day is coming up on the 14th, but are you prepped for Galentine’s Day? The holiday, created by Leslie Knope from Parks and Recreation, is a celebration of your girlfriends held on February 13th. I thought I’d show my friends some love Leslie Knope-style, by hosting a Waffle Brunch!

The waffle bar included waffles (I used this recipe here, but you can use any you’d like!), butter, Nutella, peanut butter, strawberries, mini chocolate chips, bananas, two types of syrup, whipped cream, and festive sprinkles. Leslie Knope once said that Galentine’s Day was like “Lilith Fair, minus the angst plus frittatas” so I also made a frittata based on this recipe (not pictured). We all washed the waffles down with mimosas!

Table Setting Collage

The Galentine’s Day Brunch gave me a chance to be extra girly with my decorations. I went with a red, pink, and Valentine’s Day theme with a hint of Parks and Rec quotes throughout. Most of the items shown were found at The House of Bachelorette and Party at Display and Costume. You can get individual banner letters from party stores, so you too can make a “TreatYoSelf” banner. I have a feeling I’ll  be reusing mine many times! A couple more fun tidbits about the tablescape:

  • I made the conversation heart vase by putting flowers in a small vase and then putting that into a larger vase. Then you just fill the additional space in the larger vase with candy!
  • The roses were from Whole Foods–you can get 20 roses for $20 (when you’re lucky to find a dozen for $60 at other places) and the roses are “Whole Trade,” meaning the money goes back to help the farm workers and their communities through scholarships and funding of community centers and homes.
  • Sprinkles make a fun substitute for confetti on a table, especially for a waffle party.
  • Use a bracelet, hair elastic, or some other inexpensive but fun gift for the napkin “ring.” Your guests can then take it home with them at the end of the party!

Treat Collage

It’s not Galentine’s Day without gifts! I assigned my friends “Secret Galentines” in advance, so each person could surprise another with a fantastic gift. The ladies didn’t disappoint! Each gift was absolutely perfect for the recipient, and we had a fantastic time going around and sharing them.

I also left a Galentine’s Day gift on each girl’s chair. I thought I’d mix fandoms a bit and go for a Wonder Woman theme (I’m sure Leslie Knope would approve). Each girl received one of my X-Ray Totes with a matching lip gloss and some cute earrings. I made the earrings a bit cuter and more “on-theme” by finding an image of a Wonder Woman comic online and printing it on cardstock. Then I just pierced the earrings through each card! You can do the same thing with images of vintage valentines or anything else that piques your interest.

When we weren’t opening gifts or chowing down on waffles, we were going through Table Topics and just catching up on girl talk. It was fantastic, but don’t worry–I had a plan in place for those who wouldn’t want to participate.

RS Corner

I mean, we’ve all had moments where we just need some bacon, whiskey, and a heavy set of headphones to drown out talking, right?

After we all adequately hydrated ourselves with mimosas, it was time to try out the photo wall.

Galentine Photo Booth Collage
A photo wall’s a great way to make sure pics will be taken at your party. You can set up a camera on a tripod, or you can let everyone Instagram themselves silly. I made mine with two 8 foot sheets of pink butcher paper, and a custom “Happy Galentine’s Day” banner. I then grabbed my trusty box of costumes and props and set it near the wall. The setup was simple, inexpensive, and worked out well!

So, Happy early-Galentine’s Day from my friends to yours. Do you have any Galentine’s Day plans?

Trefoil Cookie Butter

Trefoil Cookie Butter

EDIT: My recipe is a finalist in the Girl Scout Cookie Recipe Contest! You can vote for it here.

It’s one of my favorite times of the year: Girl Scout Cookie Recipe time! Because the only thing more fun than eating Girl Scout Cookies is finding ways to incorporate Girl Scout Cookies into other foods!

This year, I wanted to make a homemade version of something that’s been growing in popularity: Cookie Butter. While the cookies found in these butters are usually either gingersnaps or graham crackers, I wanted to make them with Trefoils. The shortbread cookie gives a fantastic sweet, buttery flavor to anything you want to put the spread on. I recommend apples.

The cookie butter is super quick and easy to make, and uses ingredients you most likely already have at home!

Trefoil Cookie Butter

Ingredients:

  • 1 Sleeve of Trefoils (approx. 20 cookies)
  • 2 TBS light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • 3 TBS vegetable oil
  • 2 TBS milk

Directions:

Place the cookies in a food processor, slightly breaking them up as you put them in. Grind until the cookies are fine, even crumbs.

Add brown sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon into the food processor. Mix thoroughly.

Add oil and milk, one TBS at a time, mixing thoroughly in between each turn. Mix until you receive a peanut butter-like consistency.

Enjoy! Place the cookie butter into a sealable container and keep refrigerated.

Looking for more Girl Scout Cookie Inspiration? Check out my recipes from previous years: Girl Scout Cookie Cookies and Shortbread Oven-Fried Chicken.

And don’t forget to pick up your own Girl Scout Cookies February 28-March 16! The Girl Scouts will even help you find the good stuff with a cookie locator and an app.

What’s your fave Girl Scout Cookie?

 

Weekly Links: February 9

doctor who valentine

This is one of the Valentines created by Kyle Reardon for backers of my Geeky Sprinkles Kickstarter campaign! You can see them all here

I’m sitting at home, looking at snow outside my window, and holding a hot cup of tea. It’s pretty much the dream environment for a blogger. As I get started on posts and recipes for the week, I wanted to take a quick peek at some of my favorite links from this past week.

Van Gogh Infinity Scarf: Her Universe has done it again and has me desperately wanting another piece of their clothing. This time it’s a Doctor Who/Van Gogh infinity scarf that would go with pretty much any outfit. How cute is it?

Cupcake Syrup: Speaking of things I want to buy, have you heard of Cupcake syrup? It makes coffee a thing that I actually want to drink. I keep brainstorming what other things I could make taste like a cupcake! The options are endless. ENDLESS.

Free Goodies from OneUpMakeup: OneUpMakeup, the geeky makeup channel I do with a group of lovely girls, is hosting a contest for a grab bag of tons of awesome makeup! Check it out!

Geeky Sprinkles: My Kickstarter is over 75% funded with 9 days to go. It’s close, but it needs an extra push to get it there. Can you help spread the word?

Healthy Gaming Snacks: Pistachios

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of the Pistachio Health Institute.

Pistachios

I’ve been trying to find nice, healthy alternatives to my friends’ typical gaming snacks over the past year or so. Cupcakes and chips are great, but if we’re going to be mindlessly munching on something, it might as well be healthy, right? So I was thrilled when the Pistachio Institute (did you know there was a Pistachio Institute?) wanted me to do a post on pistachios. Not only are they one of my favorite foods, but they’re fantastic snacks! Why are they so awesome, you ask?

  • You get more nut for your buck. You get 49 pistachio kernels per ounce, compared to 23 almonds, 14 walnut halves and 18 cashews.
  • Pistachios are good source of fiber, providing 12 percent of the daily value per 30 gram serving.
  • You’re doing an activity while eating! Unshelling pistachios slows down the amount of food you’re eating while working out those very important finger muscles.
  • Pistachios are delicious and can be worked into a variety of foods. I’ve had a delicious pistachio-encrusted chicken before, and I LOVE making pistachio cupcakes. (If you add something healthy into a cupcake, it makes the cupcake healthy. Right?)

Looking for more excuse to eat pistachios? Check out the infographic below, then enter the “Shine like the Stars” sweepstakes that the Pistachio Institute is running on their Facebook Page. You can win some sweet exercise gear from Valerie Waters (the trainer features in the infographic) as well as bags of pistachios and $100 VISA gift card (you know, to buy more pistachios.) Want other ideas for healthy gaming food? Check out my Pinterest Board!

12109779306_c0d79679db_hWhat are your favorite gaming foods? Anything you’d like to see me profile in the future?

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of the Pistachio Health Institute.

pistachio-health-institute

Tracking Pixel

Blue Moon Cupcakes

Blue Moon 1

Another day, another cupcake. Am I right? It’s sure felt like that lately. Between birthdays and all of the hullabaloo (wow, what am I, 70?) surrounding the Seahawks these past couple weeks, I’ve been making a lot of cupcakes! For the big game, I made two different types: Beast Mode cupcakes with a fantastic recipe from Trophy Cupcakes, and Blue Moon Cupcakes.

Blue Moon 2

I thought beer and the Super Bowl went nicely together, and since our city has been celebrating “Blue Fridays” to show their spirit for the Seahawks, it seemed fitting to make a “Blue” cake. I started with a basic recipe from Brittany, Herself and altered it to make what you see here.

Blue Moon Cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • Box of yellow cake mix
  • Oil (amount requested on the back of the cake mix box)
  • Eggs (amount requested on the back of the cake mix box)
  • 1 bottle of Blue Moon
  • 1 tsp orange extract

Directions:

Preheat the oven per the cake box instructions. Line 24 cupcake cups with wrappers.

Place the cake mix, oil, eggs into a mixer. Look at the instructions on the cake box for water, but instead of water, use Blue Moon. (My recipe called for one cup.) Add the Blue Moon and orange extract to the mixer. Mix thoroughly.

Fill the cupcake wrappers 2/3 full with the cupcake batter.

Bake according to instructions on the back of the box, or until cupcakes are golden and a toothpick stuck in the middle comes out clean.

Let cupcakes cool on a baking rack while you prepare the frosting.

Blue Moon Frosting

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups (4 sticks) of unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 4 cups of powdered sugar
  • 3 TBS Blue Moon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp orange extract
  • a pinch of salt

Directions:

Place the butter in a mixer and mix until light, smooth, and fluffy.

Add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, mixing in between each cup.

Using a spatula, scrape the sides and the mixer and mix again until butter and sugar are fully mixed.

Add the Blue Moon, vanilla extract, orange extract, and a pinch of salt and slowly mix until incorporated.

Mix at a higher speed for a couple minutes until frosting has an even consistency and appears light and fluffy.

Add more Blue Moon or orange extract to taste, mix thoroughly.

Using a large pastry tip, frost the cooled cupcakes. Top with sprinkles or the decoration of your choice.

(I dyed the frosting a light blue. If you’d like to add color, place a few drops of food coloring in at the same time as the other liquids. Mix thoroughly.)

Enjoy!

 

Weekly Links: January 31

SeahawksCupcakes

These cupcakes were made for the last Seahawks game. I used my “Pirate Rum Cupcakes” recipe and added blue and green food coloring to the cake and frosting. I’m excited to make more for the Super Bowl this Sunday! Go Hawks! 

I’m giving this new type of post a try, where each week I bring you a list of links I’ve found and loved. These are things that have entertained or intrigued me, or are awesome products/people I want to support. It’s similar to the Friday Favorites I’ve done in the past, but focused on links. Let’s do this!

Noob The Loser: A tumblr featuring original comics, my favorite being one about a D&D group. (That’s the one linked to here.) It’s hilarious and will hit close to home for folks who have played D&D before.

Super Knocked Up: A super villain and a super hero get together, and the villain ends up knocked up. (Or… “Super Knocked Up.” Get it?) This cute web series just won an IAWTV award for best supplemental content! Way to go guys!

Whole Foods Meal Plans: After the Super Bowl is over, I’m gonna need to start eating healthy again. And I’m looking forward to trying one of the meal plans that Whole Foods put together. I’m especially loving their “healthy comfort foods” plan.

Cashtronauts: This is a fast-paced, retro arcade-style game for PC/Mac/Linux that’s now available on Kickstarter. It looks like a lot of fun!

SciFiDeals: Get Free and deeply discounted Sci-Fi eBooks sent to your inbox! Pretty sweet!

Geeky Sprinkles: My Kickstarter for Geeky Sprinkles is over 50% funded! If you want to get your hands on some geeky sprinkle shapes, make sure you back the project!

Using Tech to Plan Your Parties

party android

I was recently invited to be a part of the “Intel Tablet Crew” and in the process was given a Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 to play with. I’ve had an iPad in the past, but since I’m Android all the way, I was thrilled to start playing around with a tablet that actually plays nice with my phone. It synced in all of the apps I was already using and everything!

In order to get used to the tablet, I’ve been downloading a ton of apps and I’ve been trying to find ways I can use it on a daily basis to make my life easier. So naturally, the first thing I look for is party apps. These apps all make the party planning process easier and makes the party better overall. Check them out!

Party Inspiration: Pinterest

Ok, if you use Pinterest, you probably already use it on your computer or phone. But when you’re looking for party ideas–whether it’s themes, decor, invitation ideas, recipes, anything: Pinterest is the place to go. And it’s SO pretty on a tablet! It takes up the whole screen so it’s just you and Pinterest, forever. (Use with caution, or else you’ll go crazy trying to create the most beautiful mason jar dessert table next to a couch in a field of wild flowers.)

Recipes: BigOven

This recipe site has a special “Party Time” category with a lot of fun party food ideas. In addition, you can create and store your own recipes (even scan them in), see friends’ recipes, write private notes on recipes so you can remember your changes, create a grocery list, create menus, and more. One non-party thing I love: You can put in three ingredients you have at home already and it will show you recipes that use those.

Drinks: Mixology

Mixology is a drink recipe app (and even does a cool party trick where you can shake the tablet for a random drink), but my favorite thing about it is the “Liquor Cabinet.” Check off the types of liquor you have, and it will show you the drinks you can make. I recommend checking off the liquor you’ll have available at the party before it begins, and then leave the tablet on the bar open to the page of available recipes. People can mix what they want using the items you’ve chosen to have!

Music: Pandora and Party Mixer

Pandora is my go-to music player. Whether I’m at work, exercising, or hosting a party, it’s up on my computer, phone, or tablet. I love that I can tell it an artist or find an existing mood playlist that will suit the mood of the party. (I even use it for game nights to fit the mood of the board game!) If you own a lot of music of your own and want to get a bit more creative, get Party Mixer. It allows you to play DJ for the night–fading between two songs, changing tempo and pitch to make them work for mashups. All you need is your tablet!

Party Game: 4 Player Reactor

4 Player Reactor is a great game to bring out when you’re hanging out with a group of friends wanting to kill a bit of time, or people have been drinking. The game just encourage people to touch the tablet (or phone) quickly. There are a variety of mini games that test timing, geography knowledge, math, and more. You can get the 2 Player Reactor for free, but the more friends involved, the better!

What are your favorite apps for your tablet? Anything I missed? (I’d love to hear about other fun party games made for tablets!)

I’m In a Super Bowl Video! (Kind of)

I’m not normally a sportist. I enjoy basketball (but Seattle no longer has a team. It’s still a sore subject.), but never really “got” football. Two weeks ago, I was invited over to watch the Seahawks vs. 49ers game. I went because everyone else in Seattle was watching the game AND it gave me an excuse to make cupcakes. The game was AMAZING. And now, for the first time ever, I’m excited about the Super Bowl. So excited, that when Cinesaurus asked if I could be in their opening shot for their video, I said “Yes” immediately.

The video is crazy. And bizarre. And fun. Go Hawks.

Anybots: Send Robots in Your Place

Anybots

Do you have a wedding, important conference, or other big event coming up, but you just don’t feel like going? (Hey, we’ve all had those days where the siren song of sweatpants and Netflix marathons drags us away from the outside world.) Get a robot to go in your stead.

Anybots has created a “Virtual Presence System” that consists of an “avatar” attending an event on your behalf, while you’re back at home, viewing the festivities through the bot’s eyes. You can communicate with others at the event, see everything going on, and even dance if the mood strikes you! If you’re in the San Francisco area, Anybots can even send out an escort for the avatar to make sure they don’t miss anything.

Anybots are available to rent for $325 for a day or purchase for $9,700.

Would you rent a robot to attend an event on your behalf? Would you rent one for an event you’re planning? How would you incorporate a robot in your festivities?

Find out more at anybots.com.

Hat Tip: New York Times