Brew Beer Like Wil Wheaton!

Wil-Wheaton-joins-Northern-Brewer

I love that the homebrewing community and geeky community so often overlaps. And while I haven’t homebrewed myself, I’ve gotten to try a few and it’s so much fun to see how people’s tastes and personalities fuse into their brews.

Thanks to Northern Brewer, you can now brew beer like Wil Wheaton! The first of many kits they’ll be teaming up to produce is the VandelEyes PA, named after Anne Wheaton’s “Vandal Eyes” project that I’m a big fan of. The finished product is “a wonderfully balanced IPA that has a noticeable caramel malt backbone, and a fresh citrusy hop profile with a huge, in your face aroma.” The base kit, which makes 5 gallons, starts at $45.45.

Have you homebrewed before? Planning on doing it anytime soon?

Weekly Links: February 23

funded fix

It’s been an eventful week! Thanks to you all, the Geeky Sprinkle Kickstarter funded at 110% and Geeky Sprinkles are a thing that will happen! The rest of the week has been full of celebrating, recuperating from the Kickstarter, and getting to work. While resting, I happened upon some fun links. Check them out!

The Best “Let It Go” Cover Ever: I enjoyed Frozen and I thought “Let it Go” was a nice song, but haven’t been as obsessed as a lot of people I know. But I am absolutely obsessed with this cover. It’s so, so well done, and I get chills every time I watch it. Plus the costuming is beautiful. It’s just amazing.

Penny Arcade: I’m loving this particular comic by Penny Arcade. Yay accidental math! Games are great!

The Doubleclicks “Tabletop Games”: The Doubleclicks were on Tabletop this past week, and posted a fantastic song/video that includes the titles of every game played on Tabletop. It’s super fun and has a lot of great cameos!

Girl Scout Cookie Recipe Contest: I’m a finalist in the Girl Scout Cookie Recipe Contest, and it’s your last chance to vote for me! Voting ends on February 27th. You just have to click on the link, click the “Cookie Butter” recipe, then click “Submit!” So easy!

LAST DAY To Get Geeky Sprinkles!

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The Geeky Sprinkles Kickstarter campaign is ending in 5 hours. It’s been an exciting month of running the campaign, and I’m thrilled to see where we end up. We’re currently thisclose to $42,000 which means we’ve officially funded and hit a stretch goal! What does that mean?

Geeky Sprinkles are going to happen! And if you pledge at a $26 level or higher you’re getting a free bonus bottle of sprinkles of your choice! If you pledge at $45 or higher, you’re getting TWO free bonus bottles of your choice!

Take a peek at the campaign and cheer me on for the last few hours. And don’t forget to make or adjust your pledge before time’s up! I’ll be on Twitter counting down until 9pm! Stop by and say “Hi!”

Weekly Links: February 14

bellevday

Happy Valentine’s Day! I love you all for checking out my site and chatting with me in the comments, on FB, and on Twitter. Seeing new comments always brightens my day! Go get yourself some chocolate. Tell ‘em Tara sent ya.

Here are some links that have caught my eye over the past week:

Brutally Honest Disney Valentine’s Day Cards: This link is pretty self explanatory. You’ll most likely find a card for everyone in here.

Six’s Dress from BSG: You can get a wearable prop replica dress for $120. And wearable replicas of her jewelry for $20. I’ll take a size Medium, please.

Zeppeldrome: This super fun board game is currently being Kickstarted and is almost out of time! If you like dirigibles and games and fun and good people, go help fund it!

Geeky Sprinkles!: Yes, what a surprise. My Kickstarter. Well, it’s the last week I’ll put up the link! My campaign ends on Tuesday night and I’m very close to funding. I’ve added stretch goals and add-ons, so go take a look!

Eating Ooo: An Adventure Time Cookbook

adventure time eating ooo cover

Get ready for an adventure in your kitchen! This cookbook (and art book) created by Eric Resnick is inspired by the Adventure Time series, and it doesn’t disappoint.

adventure time cookbook bacon pancakes

Recipes include:

  • Marceline’s Fries
  • Bacon pancakes
  • Everything Burrito
  • Princess Bubblegum’s giant spaghetti IN meatball
  • Tree Trunks’ Mile High Apple Pie
  • Wildberry Princess’ Meat Pie  (Guinness braised short ribs in a homemade pastry crust)
  • Jake’s Instant Ice Cream
  • “The Pods” inspired Triple scoop Ice Cream Mochi Pod
  • BMO’s Chicken Lorraine Pizza
  • Finn’s Root Sword Baguette
  • Ice King’s Animal Shaped Chicken Nuggets
  • Honey Energy Drink

And a whole bunch more!

If you’re an Adventure Time lover that also loves to cook, you can pick up the book at Amazon for $14.88!

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

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