gaming

Gritty Mario Reboot: The Four Players

“The Four Players” have been around since November, but I just got around to watching them this week. I was expecting some fun little videos showing grittier sides of the four player characters in Super Mario Bros., but I was blown away at the quality. There’s great acting, singing, and special effects (that even include puppetry!) I really enjoyed watching these interpretations. If you’ve got an extra 15 minutes or so, check these out:

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.

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Friday Favorites: November 1

Friday Faves Nov 1

Happy November! This past week has involved parties, a wedding, my birthday, Halloween, and prepping for Extra Life. All I want to do is sleep and instead I’m prepping to stay awake for 25 hours! Hey, it’s for the kids. These are the things I’m loving from the past week:

Favorite Kickstarter #1: Heroes and Inspirations Jewelry Line
Optimystical Studios (the amazing geeky jewelry found at conventions and my booth neighbors at Geek Girl Con) are launching a new jewelry line that features renditions of lady scientists by lady artists on dog tags. They’re beautiful and the campaign is thisclose to succeeding! Check out all of the different types of jewelry they have available here.

Favorite Kickstarter #2: BatteryBot
The makers of MimoBot have created a rechargeable battery for devices like phones and tablets. The super cute creatures can help you out whenever you’re stuck with a dead phone, and you can help make them a reality! Pledge here–there are some early bird discounts for those who pledge!

Favorite Exhibit: Modernist Cuisine
The Pacific Science Center has a really cool exhibit up now until February, and I can’t wait to go check it out. You will see the “science of food” through close up and fantastic photos, many of which include preparation and cooking of food and detail into how it happens. Food, science, and photography? This sounds too good to miss! Find out more here.

Favorite Event: Extra Life
Extra Life is tomorrow! I’ll be making video game-themed food and participating with Team Hypercube. You can see our full schedule here. Tune in to see what we’re up to, and make a pledge if you can! The money goes towards the Seattle Children’s Hospital!

What have you discovered this week? Will you be tuning into the Extra Life livestream tomorrow?

Friday Favorites: October 18

Friday Faves 10-18

This week has me prepping my Halloween post shoot, prepping for GeekGirlCon, and prepping for various other parties/events happening in the next few weeks. With my birthday, my friends’ birthdays, Halloween, and more, the 2nd half of October is always an adventure! Here are the things I’ve been loving this past week:

Favorite Con: GeekGirlCon
GeekGirlCon is this weekend! I’ll be writing up a full post later on where I’ll be and when, but regardless, I’m thrilled to spend a weekend with tons of lovely geeky women (and geeky women supporters). Tickets are sold out online, but a limited supply will be available at the door. Will I see you there?

Favorite Charitable Event: Extra Life
Extra Life is coming up on November 2nd and I still have to make a list of the video game-inspired food I’ll be making! I’ll be making all of the meals during the 25 hour time frame, and they all will be video game themed. Cheer me on by making a pledge, all the money goes to the Seattle Children’s Hospital! Let me know in the comments what video game food you’d like to see me make.

Favorite Game: Full Screen Mario
When I need a quick break and a dose of nostalgia, I turn to Full Screen Mario. It’s got all of the levels you know and love plus a level generator for some new fun! Try it out now.

Favorite Party Supplies: Oriental Trading
I just received a new shipment from Oriental Trading this week with supplies for four different projects I’m currently working on. I love ordering from them because they have so many cool things, their prices are great, and it gets here fairly fast. I can’t wait to play with all of my new goodies! Start shopping.

What are you loving this week?

Grid Table Cloth for Dinner Parties, D&D

Grid Tablecloth

I’ve been on a “tabletop” kick lately, and although I usually mean gaming when I say that, this time I mean decor. Table runners, placemats, napkin rings, centerpieces–it’s a magical world with so many options and I’m having a blast exploring it. Every once in a while I find something that merges both meanings of “tabletop” into one glorious product.

One such product is this doodle tablecloth. It features a grid pattern and comes with washable fabric markers so you can write right on it. Now you don’t have to have dinner then clear off the table to set up for Dungeons and Dragons–you can do it all at the same time! After the campaign’s over, wash the tablecloth and you’ll be all set for the next one!

The tablecloth is available at Amazon.com in two different sizes. What would you use the tablecloth for?

Quingo: Play iPad Games for Charity

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Lately I’ve been playing an iPad game or two to unwind and relax before I head to bed in the evenings. They’re fun, but one or two quick games can turn into five or six games, and before I know it, a half hour has gone by. The games that keep track of how long you’ve spent playing just make me depressed. I’ve wasted that much time?

Luckily, when I play Quingo, a new iPad game that launches today, I don’t feel like I’m wasting time. The more I play, the more money goes to charity!

Quingo is a cross between a quiz game and bingo. You are given something to look for (For instance, “characters in Harry Potter books”) and must find the five answers in a bingo board of options. You’re timed, and each wrong answer reduces your time more. A game is played in 5 rounds, and at the end, your score (or “hope points”) goes towards the charity of your choice. I chose Seattle Children’s Hospital for mine.

The game is currently available to download for free for iPad, and other mobile options will be made available later in the year. Find out more about the game here and download it here.

Give the game a try and let me know what charity you’re playing for! I’ll be playing mine and watching the “points you’ve given” number keep going up.

Grand Theft Auto V: The Movie

My friends at Cinesaurus asked me to be a part of their most recent video, and I had a blast getting to nag and yell at a fictional husband for a night. The finished product is a look at Grand Theft Auto V if it became a bit Inception-ized. It’s pretty sweet. Check it out (and look for my two cameos) here:

You can also see an extended cut of the scene where I’m yelling at Michael in the Behind the Scenes. They gave me some background info on the characters and let me run with it. It was a lot of fun! (My part starts at 6:55, but the whole video is really interesting!)

Will you be picking up GTA V tonight when it comes out?

Closet Cosplay with thredUP: Lara Croft

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Sometimes it’s hot out, you don’t want to be bothered to do much with your hair, and you need a bit of extra oomph to get you through your day. And on those days, it’s best to channel Lara Croft. Her bad-ass-ness will infuse your day while you get to relax in cargo pants.

If you want to go a bit less cosplay-ish, you can lose the utility belt. But seriously, don’t knock wearing a utility belt until you try it. I’ve worn it at cons before instead of bringing a purse and it’s amazing. A way cooler version of a fanny pack.

Pants: Ann Taylor LOFT Capris from thredUP. (This is why thredUP is amazing. I would have never looked at Ann Taylor for cargo pants, but I saw them online, got them, and love them!)

Top: Brown Cami from Romy

Belt: Nylon Swat Belt from Amazon

Hair: Just put it in a messy braid down your back. Super easy!

I kept makeup very simple with this look. If anything, just bronze a bit.

Check out thredUP and get 25% off your first purchase! Use code GEEKYHOSTESS25 by the end of August. 

(This is part 4 in a week-long series of closet cosplay from thredUP. Stay tuned for more!)

Pixelated Sweatshirts

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It’s supposed to be summer, but instead it’s just ridiculously rainy in Seattle. The benefit is it’s the perfect kind of day to snuggle up in sweats and put some time into a book, video game, or movie marathon. I just wish I had one of these sweet sweatshirts to cozy up in.

The sweatshirts are a bit pricy at $59, but if you’re looking for a signature sweat (that’s a thing, right?) then this just may be perfect.

Find these designs and more from the Drew Wise collection at BelovedShirts.com.

Text Adventure Party

Text Adventure Activities Last week, I gathered some of my gaming-loving friends together for a Text Adventure Party. Yes, a party based on those text adventure games from the 80’s. The activities of the night centered around playing Parsely, a live-action game based on the text adventures. We started with Action Castle, which is their recommended beginning game, and ended up graduating onto some actual text adventure games on our main computer (including one Mr. Geek whipped up that focused on the players going through the rooms in our home!). Want to throw your own Text Adventure Party? Take a look below for pics and tips!

Activities
As mentioned above, you’ll want to get your hands on at least one Parsely game (they’re available online for only $5 each!). If your friends are experienced with text adventures, you may end up going through more than one.

Want to make your own text adventure game like Mr. Geek? You can use Quest, a free online program that makes it super easy!

Decor
Print out descriptions of your rooms in the text-adventure style. If you want that old-school font, use Press Start 2P. Mr. Geek wrote ours, as you could probably tell from the description of the kitchen, above. Don’t forget to label your food items as well!

I continued with the retro gaming theme with these fun Space Invaders drink markers and integrated some bright colors to match up with the Mountain Dew Bar.

Food
Food and drink is my favorite part of any theme party, and it’s the part I give the most attention to. I wanted to take nostalgic gamer food and make it a bit more “grown up.” I did this by creating a Mountain Dew bar with a variety of mix-ins, baking my classic Mountain Dew cupcakes, and making homemade Cool Ranch Doritos and Hot Pockets. They were a hit!

Mountain Dew BarI chose mix-ins I thought would be delicious with Mountain Dew and would allow my guests to make their own versions of Mountain Dew “Code Red”. What else should I include for my next Mountain Dew bar? Let me know in the comments!

Mountain Dew CupcakesI revamped the Mountain Dew Cupcakes frosting recipe a bit by adding in some orange flavoring in addition to the lemon and lime. It tasted much more like Mountain Dew!

Doritos and Hot Pockets Cool Ranch Doritos
I had never fried my own chips before, but it was much easier than I expected. These chips were being munched on all night, and guests seemed to love them! They’ll turn out a bit thicker and greasier than your average CRD, but they’re pretty tasty. I used a recipe from Macheesmo.com and it was fantastic. Sure, eating Doritos straight out of the bag is easier, but these are cheaper, most likely somewhat healthier, and MUCH more impressive to have at or bring to a party.

Homemade Hot Pockets
Homemade Hot Pockets are pretty much just tiny calzones. Tiny, delicious, rectangular calzones. The ingredients you put inside are all interchangeable based on your tastes; I went for a classic Pepperoni Pizza Hot Pocket experience.

Ingredients:

  • Uncooked pizza dough (I made mine from hand with the instructions off of a packet of Pizza yeast, you can also buy some pre-made dough from the store.)
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Thin-sliced pepperoni, diced (I used around 30 pieces)
  • Seasonings to taste (I used a dash of oregano and dried red pepper flakes)
  • 1 egg
  • Shredded Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Prep a cookie sheet with a quick spray of cooking oil.

Divide your pizza dough into 16 equal sections and roll them into their own individual balls.

Roll the balls out as thin as you can while still maintaining some structure (around 1/8 inch thick). Keep in mind that the dough will fluff up considerably!

Mix the sauce, mozzarella, pepperoni, and seasonings together in a small bowl to make the filling. Using a small spoon, scoop out a bit of the filling and place it in the middle of the rolled out dough.

Using a burrito-method, fold in the sides of the pizza dough and roll it up to create a small hot pocket-shape. Press the edges lightly with your fingers to make sure everything is closed tightly together.

Carefully place the “hot pocket” onto the cookie sheet. Continue with the 15 others.

Whisk one egg, and brush the egg onto the tops of the hot pockets. (This will give it that browned top). Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Bake for 20 minutes. Let cool slightly (we all know what happens when you bite into a hot pocket first thing!) and serve!

Any other suggestions for hosting a text adventure party? Leave them in the comments!