Eggvengers: Turn Your Easter Eggs Into Superheroes

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My friends over at HalloweenCostumes.com put together something that had me laughing at the ridiculousness/adorableness of it: Eggvengers, Avengers costumes for your Easter Eggs. Holiday DIY, Marvel superheroes, and more puns than I can count? You’ve just found one of my new favorite things.

You can print out costumes for Black Widow, Captain America, Nick Fury, Hawkeye, Iron Man, Thor, Loki, Ultron, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, Vision, and Hulk on their blog.

Want to decorate yourself while you’re decorating your eggs? Or want to prep yourself for an upcoming Age of Ultron screening? Enter to win this amazing Captain America Shield! Just enter using the Rafflecopter below. A winner will be selected on Friday!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

DIY Gift Idea: Surprise Balls!

DnD Surprise Ball

Surprise balls are one of the ultimate DIY gifts. Seriously. These gifts are like mini parties in one: your recipient has the joy of unwrapping their gift and getting multiple tiny surprises, while covering themselves with colorful crepe paper! Plus, you look like a wonderful and creative human being, and it only took you a few bucks and a few minutes! Win-win.

The premise is simple: Start with your largest gift in the center and wrap around it with crepe paper streamers. Continue to wrap the streamer around, working it towards a ball-shape, and pause every once in a while to add another small gift. Continue to do this until all gifts are fully wrapped inside of the ball. That’s it!

Surprise Ball Steps

The fun, though, is coming up with ways to decorate and theme the ball. You can change the color of the streamers throughout by taping two colored streamers together, you can dress up the front with washi tape and stickers, or you can create a replica of a round object and theme the gifts inside appropriately.

Harry Potter Surprise Ball

Here are some ideas for geeky surprise balls:

HP Ball Contents

The Golden Snitch

Using gold crepe paper, create a surprise ball and add wings to the back. Fill with Harry Potter-themed goodies! These can include:

  • Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans
  • Gold from Gringotts Bank
  • A Time Turner
  • Pins, stickers, and other accessories in the recipient’s house colors
  • Favorite quotes from the books

DnD Ball Contents

The Dungeon Master

Invite your friends to a Dungeons and Dragons game, and give them everything they’ll need to start their adventure! This can include:

  • A set of dice
  • A miniature
  • Riddles or puzzles
  • Clues that will help them during the campaign
  • “Coupons” they can cash in during the campaign. For instance:
    • Redeem this slip of paper for: One re-roll. (Can be given to another player or NPC.)
    • Redeem this slip of paper for: One random item from the Trinkets page.
    • Redeem this slip of paper for: Advantage or Disadvantage on the roll of your choice. (Can be given to another player or NPC.)

Here are some other fun ideas:

  • Put a bunch of stocking stuffers/candies in a surprise ball with black crepe paper streamers–it’ll look like coal!
  • Make a pokeball-themed surprise ball with mini Pokemon goodies inside!
  • Know a sports fan? Put sports-themed goodies (or a note saying you’ve got tickets to the big game) inside a surprise ball that looks like their sports ball of choice!

What type of surprise ball do you want to make? Let me know in the comments!

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.

Pinterest Day Recap

Yesterday I spent the entire day only doing things found on Pinterest Pins. I wanted to see if I would turn into one of those perfect people you always imagine when going through Pinterest–you know, perfect huge house, rustic accents, perfectly layered clothing with cute makeup and nicely braided hair. Mason jars everywhere. Makes their own organic EVERYTHING. Spoiler alert, I didn’t turn into that. But I did learn a couple of cool new recipes and tricks that I can start adding into my normal life! Here’s a list of everything I did as well as links to the pins (so you can add them to your own board!):

3 Ingredient Pancake
Breakfast: 3 Ingredient Pancakes
The reason I’m not a fan of normal pancakes is because it has a lot of carbs/sugar and lacks protein. These seemed like the perfect solution. They’re only made with bananas, peanut butter, and eggs (and a dash of cinnamon, if you’d like). They started off a bit stickier and more difficult to turn than your average pancakes, but they ended up looking and tasting like the real thing. You’ve gotta like peanut butter and bananas because the taste is strong, but I really enjoyed them. Would make again!

Workout: 7-Minute HIIT Workout
Who knew you could get so sweaty and out of breath in seven minutes? This workout kicked my butt. It recommends you do the full circuit a couple times, but once was good enough for me. It’s the next day and I’m SORE.

Sugar Cookie Scrub
DIY: Sugar Cookie Scrub
I love body scrubs and I love cookies, so this one seemed like a no-brainer. The creator mentions it’s a foot scrub, but there’s no reason you can’t use it elsewhere. The ingredients are all things you probably already have in your pantry: white sugar, brown sugar, vanilla extract, and olive oil. I would reduce the amount of olive oil you use to 1/3 cup, and make sure it doesn’t have a super strong smell. Other than that, I loved this DIY. It feels and smells delicious and may end up being a Christmas gift for some of my friends. I used the scrub in the shower, and ended up with olive oil on my hands when I washed my hair. My hair was SO smooth and wonderful when I got out of the shower–my comb went through it really easily without me having to use any detangler spray/leave-in conditioner! More proof olive oil is magical.

Outfit
Outfit: Plaid, Pearls, Boots, and Layers
I pinned a couple outfits for inspiration, but drew more on the basics I see on Pinterest all the time. Boots, skinny jeans, a plaid shirt underneath a crew neck sweater, and pearls. I learned I have no basic crew neck sweaters and need a new plaid shirt. But hey, I did what I could with what I had!

Hair
Hair: Fishtail Braid
I first attempted to do one of the Game of Thrones hairstyles, but realized that it looked a little fancy for my outfit. Instead, I took the opportunity to learn how to do a fishtail braid with a Pinterest tutorial. It took me a couple tries, but I finally understood what the tutorial was saying and was able to do it! It was a nice, easy (once I learned) hairstyle that I will definitely replicate in the future.

Makeup
Makeup: Light Pink Smoky Eye and Bright Lips
I loved the makeup picture I pinned and did my best to do it justice with colors that would work for my outfit. I still love the look I pinned better than my own, but I don’t think I did too horribly! It was fun to get to play around with different colors and styles on my eyes than I normally do.

Lunch: Homemade Crunch Wrap Supremes
I pinned this recipe on my “Fun Food” board a while ago and had wanted to try it for forever. Mr. Geek enjoys Taco Bell’s Crunch Wrap Supremes and I thought it would be a fun surprise to make it at home. We LOVED it. It was pretty easy to make and a whole lot healthier when you control your own ingredients! (I was starving and apparently forgot to take pics! Whoops!)

Pinterest Potluck
Party: Pinterest Potluck
I invited some Pinterest and food-loving friends over for a Pinterest Potluck. Everyone was asked to bring a dish that they made from a Pinterest pin. It allowed some of them to try things they’ve pinned a long time ago, and others to try Pinterest for the first time. We had a really fun mix of food and I would call everyone’s recipe at least some degree of success. I’ve listed them all below with a link to the pin so you can try them at home! (Let’s just say we all went home stuffed and a few pounds heavier.)

Lasagna
Dinner: Lasagna Rolls
I made lasagna rolls for my contribution to the Pinterest Potluck. I’ve been wanting to try lasagna rolls for a while and thought this would be a good chance! They were delicious! They work better as a sit-down dinner meal than a potluck meal (they’re messy and not as good when they’re cold), but they still went fast.

Cookies
Dessert: Cake Batter Cookies
I prefer cake to cookies, but if I had to eat a cookie, eating one made from cake batter doesn’t seem like a bad way to go. These cookies are super bright and cute (thanks to all the sprinkles) and they taste almost like a sugar cookie, but with a softer, slightly more cakey texture. The only thing that would make it better would be a bit of frosting on top!

Mason Jars
Bonus: Mason Jars
Mason Jars are ALL over Pinterest, so I felt it was necessary to do everything I could with the jars during the day. Mr. Geek and I both drank water out of them all day, I used one to contain the sugar scrub, I put candles in some for the party, and encouraged others to drink out of some as well. It was my first encounter with mason jars (other than seeing them used for the actual purpose of storing jams) and was actually pretty enlightening. Guys, you can do a lot of things with mason jars! But just because you can doesn’t necessarily mean you should.

Are you a Pinterest fan? Do you have pins you’ve wanted to try but haven’t? I encourage you to set up your own Pinterest Day or Pinterest Potluck! Share some of your fave pins in the comments! And check out my Pinterest Day Board for all of the pins!

Pinterest Day!

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I have a love/hate relationship with Pinterest. I love using the site as a way to find new recipes, party ideas, decor and organization ideas, but I feel like the popular pins are all the same. If you’re planning a wedding, your board will be full of “rustic glamour” including barns and a whole lot of mason jars. Planning a party? It better include a dessert table, and EVERYTHING better be labeled with puns and rhymes. Want to lose weight? I’m guessing your weight-loss board includes black and white photos of models working out with “inspirational” sayings about pushing yourself to the max. And all pins have the same comments: claims that the tip is the “Greatest thing EVER!” or “a Lifesaver!” PEOPLE: A braid tutorial is not the best thing ever in the world. Let’s calm down a bit.

Let’s not even talk about the fact that Pinterest is a time suck. I’ve spent evenings with a glass of wine and my laptop, and entertained myself for hours entirely with Pinterest. And then what? How often do people even do the things they pin?

Well, I’m gonna pin, and I’m gonna actually DO the pins. On Sunday, November 24th, I decree it will be “Pinterest Day.” On Pinterest Day, I will workout, craft/DIY, make all of my meals, and do my hair, makeup, and style my outfit based on popular pins. I will live-tweet throughout the day, and do side-by-side comparisons of the pins and my experience. You can find the pins I’m considering (as well as the side-by-side comparisons after the 24th) on my “Pinterest Day” board. (While you’re there, why don’t you follow all of my boards? Lots of geeky goodness there!)

What do you want to see me do? Let me be your Pinterest Guinea Pig. If there’s something you’ve had your eye on, send it my way. You can either leave a link to the pin in the comments of this post, or tag me in the comments of the pin itself. I’ll add them all to my Pinterest Day board!

I also encourage you to join in. Find one project you’ve been wanting to do from your boards, and plan to do it on the 24th. Tweet/Facebook about it with hashtag #PinterestDay so we can see what other folks are doing!

Cupcake Inspiration From the Trophy Book Launch

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I attended the Trophy Cupcakes Book Launch Party over the weekend, and was in awe of how many ways they displayed cupcakes throughout the event. They were all beautiful and a lot of them were pretty unique! Here are some of my favorite bits of cupcake inspiration taken from the event. Keep them in mind for your next party:

Display Your Cupcakes Proudly

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A giant cupcake display looks even prettier when you mix flavors, colors, and sizes of your cupcakes.

DIY Cupcake Station

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This “Decorate Your Own Cupcake” station was a super cute idea, and was clearly being used. Keep in mind: If your party has a lot of kids (or childlike adults), this station will get super messy and most people will focus on quantity of sprinkles over quality.

Gold Frosted Fruit

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A piece of fruit sprayed gold with edible spray paint is an elegant way to top a cupcake. This would be fantastic for a wedding or fancier event!

Cotton Candy/Cupcake Collaboration

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Spun skewered a mini cupcake on a fork and used that to spin the cotton candy onto. It was a super fun and creative element. A bit messy to eat, but still fun!

Decorate with Cupcakes

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Cupcakes don’t just need to be used to feed the masses–they can also be used to decorate the party! Just find a fun container to put them in. (Tip: If it can hold a candle or an air plant, it can hold a mini cupcake!)

Have you done any creative cupcakeing at parties in the past? Let me know 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?

Custom Pixelated Fashion from Kate Spade

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Kate Spade’s more affordable line, Saturday, announced a new print today. Although they call it “windowpane,” I see pixels. Pixels that can be colored in and customized however you may want. Sweet!

The line includes bags, scarves, pillows, shirts, jeans, and even shoes. What pattern or design would you create with it? I think I’d go for a giant 8-Bit heart, myself.

Saturday’s Windowpane collection ranges in price from $25-180. Available at Saturday.com.

Geek Beauty: Glitter Masks

ECCC Glitter Masks

In honor of their newest collection and the amazing superhero they came up with to go along with it, Espionage Cosmetics spent Emerald City Comicon putting glitter masks on people. When I first saw them, I thought they were rhinestones placed on a face, but they’re actually done with eyelash glue and loose glitter! Here’s how to make a glitter mask of your own:

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Use black eyelash glue to dab small dots on your face in the shape of a mask. Let dry slightly so it won’t run/smudge.

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Take loose glitter (we used ones from Espionage Cosmetics’ Comic Book collection) and tap it lightly over the glue dots, making sure you cover them all. Then take scotch tape and lightly remove the excess from your skin by going between the dots. If you want a look similar to Kristina and Liz up top, you can stop here! If you’re looking for more of a two-toned look, continue on.

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Using clear eyelash glue, apply dots in the middle of your mask or where you would like the second color to appear.

IMG_4814 smallLike the first time, pat the second color on lightly over the slightly-dried glue dots, and try to avoid getting the glitter onto the first color. Remove the excess with scotch tape.

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You’re ready to fight crime and look fabulous!

Check out Espionage’s full line of makeup at EspionageCosmetics.com.

Geek Fashion: Comicon Outfit

ECCC Outfit

You don’t have to cosplay or wear a t-shirt to rock a comicon-appropriate outfit (although those are perfectly awesome things to do as well). For those times when you want to dress up a bit for a panel or a party,  I recommend an outfit like the one I wore on Friday of Emerald City Comicon. Prefer a bit more color? You can pair the skirt and necklace with a comic shirt of your choice or a bright red, yellow, or blue top.

I made the skirt out of this fabric from Joann and some simple elastic. I haven’t sewn in a while, and I started and finished the project with time to spare while watching a movie. Use this tutorial, and you can make your own skirt too! (Seriously. It’s SUPER easy.) Not loving the elastic waist? Just put a belt over it, like I did here.

My Pow necklace was from Hot Topic, but Amazon and Etsy both have some great options.

Boots are a great way to add a bit of heel (or Superhero kick) to your outfit without hurting your feet too much. But flats would look just as nice!

I look forward to wearing the skirt to other functions like parties, ladies’ nights, and some events at other cons. I may even try my hand at sewing a few more before SDCC!

What’s your go-to comicon outfit?