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?

Fragments: Really Cool Jewelry for Your Valentine

Valentine’s Day is upon us, and with it brings tons of jewelry store ads. “Get your love this heart-shaped pendant she’ll wear once.” “If you buy this pretty pink item, you get a TEDDY BEAR for free!” The jewelry all starts to sound and look the same, and most likely won’t even be right for the giftee.

So instead of the foofy things, get your Valentine something awesome. If you’re looking to spend a bit of cash on a piece of really nice jewelry, I recommend you check out Fragments. Their jewelry is gorgeous while also being badass, just like your Valentine! Here are some of my faves, along with cheesy suggestions for how you can tie it into Valentine’s Day. You’re welcome:

Screen Shot 2014-01-22 at 11.32.29 PM

Octagon Dagger Pendant

This pendant says “I know you like sparkly things, and I also like it when you stay alive. Take some protection.” Seriously. This thing looks like it could do some damage. $90.

Screen Shot 2014-01-22 at 11.35.16 PM

Silvery Cubist Earrings

These earrings are a more subtle and funky way to show off a bit of bling. Plus, what better way to ask someone to be your Companion (Cube)?$115.

Screen Shot 2014-01-22 at 11.36.22 PM

Forget Me Knot Ring

A sweet name and a fierce product. Great for folks that wouldn’t be caught dead with something girly! $350.

Screen Shot 2014-01-22 at 11.38.13 PM

Skull Chain Ring

A punk way of saying “Till Death Do Us Part.” $560.

Screen Shot 2014-01-22 at 11.39.18 PM

Shark Bite Earrings

Whether you’re more of a “Shark Week” or a “Sharknado” kinda girl, share your love with these gold and diamond earrings. $1,390.

Screen Shot 2014-01-22 at 11.41.25 PM

Star Duo Necklace

Tell your Valentine that you love them “From  here to the stars and back” with this gorgeous necklace that they don’t need a special occasion to wear. $1,650.

Which is your fave piece? Are you hoping for jewelry for Valentine’s Day?

This has been a sponsored post for Fragments. All words and opinions are mine, and I would totally and happily wear any of these pieces if they were given to me (cough, cough).

Happy Valentine’s Day

youcompleteme

Geeky Valentine available for free download at ebuyer.com

Happy Half-Price Chocolates Eve Valentine’s Day!

You, dear readers, are all my Valentines today (if you’ll have me). Thank you all for reading, leaving comments, chatting with me on Twitter/FB, and just being all-around awesome. I love you all!

So let’s have a mini virtual date! Grab a chocolate or a cupcake or anything sweet near you and cozy up with your computer to watch the season premiere of Burning Love. I’ll be doing the same on my end!

Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas

Valentine’s Day is coming up, and really, we should all remember what the day is actually about. Eating ungodly amounts of chocolate Telling our friends, family, and loved ones that we care about them. This doesn’t need to be a gift giving holiday. Honestly, for almost everyone out there, a nice long note about how much they mean to you will go SO much further than $60 of roses. But if you’re looking for a gift anyway, here’s my round up of some of the fun ideas out there:

USB Bow Tie

usb bow tie

 

This is a wearable bow tie that has a built-in 4 GB USB drive. Perfect for housing your favorite episodes of Doctor Who. Because bow ties are cool, and so is your Valentine.
Agent 002 USB Bow Tie Sungane, $25.95 at Fab.com.

Bow Tie Necklace

bow tie necklaceLooking for something a bit more feminine? This bow tie necklace from Kate Spade will do the trick. They also have bracelets and rings available in the design, including this lil hot pink number I have my eye on.
Black Tie Optional Necklace, $148 at KateSpade.com.

Swiss Army Ring

man ring

 

Show your Valentine that you want them to survive, and will help them be prepared for anything, with this practical and functional ring.
The Man Ring: Titanium Utility Ring, $385 at Etsy.com.

Board Games

lost cities

Show your Valentine it’s all fun and games when you’re with him or her. (Ugh, too cheesy? Too cheesy.) A board game is a nice way to say “I want to spend more time with you.” Some of my favorite two-player games include Lost Cities and Hive.

Molecular Gastronomy Kit

molecular gastronomy

Give the gift of more date nights. This is a fun, science-y way to enjoy cooking together. Plus, you’ll totally impress your friends with your new-found molecular gastronomy skills!
Cuisine R-Evolution Molecular Gastronomy kit, $58.95 at Amazon.com.

Sriracha Chocolate Bar

sriracha chocolate bar

Let your Valentine know that you think they’re hot (and possibly a bit painful) with a sriracha chocolate bar from ThinkGeek.
Sriracha Chocolate  Bar, $7.99 from ThinkGeek.com.

Tattoos for Those who Fear Commitment

dottinghill

Get some fun and unique temporary tattoos for you and your Valentine–many of the items come in sets of two. Plus, order by February 10th and get 20% off your order with code “LOVEFEB”.
Temporary Tattoos available at Dottinghill.com.

Venn Diagram Necklace

venn diagram necklace

Love + Science = The freakin cutest necklace I’ve ever seen. Enough said.
You + Me Pendant, $44 at YellowOwlWorkshop.com.

Glasses Bangle

glasses braceletYou can’t expect me to create a gift guide and only put one Kate Spade item on it, right? I’m loving this bracelet that tells your geeky lady that you love her, eyesight impairment and all. The design is also available in a necklace, ring, and earrings.
Goreski Glasses Bangle, $78 at KateSpade.com.

What are  you getting for your Valentine? Or better yet, what are you hinting at for yourself?

 

 

Giveaway: Her Universe Quote Tee

Her Universe Quote TeeHer Universe has introduced some fantastic new quote tees to help you share your true feelings with your Valentine, Galentine, or even yourself. Pick your favorite fandom (between Star Wars, Star Trek, and Doctor Who) and make sure you get your order placed in time for Valentine’s Day!

Her Universe has graciously decided to give away a shirt in the fandom of your choice to one reader! Enter with the Rafflecopter below. The contest will end on February 5th so the winner will receive the shirt in time for Valentine’s Day. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Not very lucky? You can order the shirts now for $25 at heruniverse.com.

 

Last-Minute Valentine E-Cards

Forgot about Valentine’s Day? Locked eyes with that cutie across the bus from you, and need to scramble to find a card? Look no further than Paperless Post! Their free Valentine’s Day e-cards are cute, quirky, geeky, and unique. Check out some of my faves below:

You can find these cards and more at Paperless Post— just sign up for free to customize and send!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Epic Win Cupcakes

Valentine’s Day is tomorrow. If you haven’t yet picked out a gift for your loved one(s), or are looking for a sweet treat for yourself, I’d recommend you check out these “Epic Win Cupcakes.” The cupcakes include a trifecta of ingredients: coffee, whiskey, and bacon. (Not into pork products on your baked goods? Feel free to keep it off.) Between the kick of the whiskey and the caffeine from the coffee, these cupcakes are not for the faint of heart. They’re guaranteed to make an all-night gaming session or movie marathon even better.

Chocolate-Coffee Cake
(Recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book’s “One-Bowl Chocolate Cake”)

Ingredients:

  • 2 TBS instant coffee powder
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup cooking oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 4 slices of bacon, cooked, broken into small pieces (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare cupcake pans with wrappers.

In a small bowl, mix the instant coffee powder into the milk. Set aside.

Mix together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add milk/coffee mixture, oil, and vanilla.

Beat with electric mixer on low speed until combined, then mix on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add egg, and beat for 2 minutes more.

Pour cupcake mixture into cupcake pans, filling them up 1/2 way.

Bake for 22 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Let cool, frost and top with a piece of well-cooked bacon. Enjoy!

Chocolate Whiskey Buttercream Frosting

Ingredients:

  • 8 TBS unsalted butter
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 TBS whiskey (I used Mischief whiskey, made locally in Fremont!)
  • 3 tsp cocoa powder
  • dash of salt

Directions:

Taste the whiskey, make sure it’s good.

Pour another 3 TBS of whiskey to actually use for the recipe.

In an electric mixer, whip butter until fluffy.

Add in 3-4 cups powdered sugar, 3 TBS whiskey, 3 tsp cocoa powder, and a pinch of salt slowly as you mix.

Continue to mix until the frosting takes on the consistency you prefer, adding more powdered sugar if necessary.

I took these cupcakes with me when I joined BJ Shea’s Geek Nation podcast to talk about Valentine’s Day gifts. You can check out the full podcast here. My segment starts about 15 minutes in.

Looking for the Wonder Woman underwear I mentioned in the podcast? Try SuperheroStuff.com, Hot Topic, TopShop, and Spencers.

You can find a Golden Snitch locket on Etsy.

Need more gift ideas? Check out my post on Valentine’s Day gifts here!

Above all, remember that Valentine’s Day is just a great excuse to tell people you care about them–that can be done with something homemade, a nice hand-written letter, or even just an earnest phone call. You don’t need to spend any money as long as there’s some thought there.

What are you doing for your Valentine?

Gifts for Your Valentine

Valentine’s Day is two weeks away, which means it’s prime time to get those gifts ordered, reservations made, and singing telegram booked. A lot of people ask me for gift ideas that are a bit more unique and personal than your average bouquet of roses or box of chocolates, so I’ve put together a list of some of my current favorites. You should be able to find something for your geeky Valentine, and if there’s something you’re wanting, feel free to leave this page open on their computer!

Geeky Cologne

If your Valentine’s more Kirk than Calvin Klein, more Sulu than Hugo Boss, or has just always wanted to smell like Thor, then he (or she) will love the colognes from JADS International. Their scents are inspired by Star Trek, Star Wars, and The Avengers, and actually sound pretty nice. They even have a couple scents for the ladies, including Slave Leia and Pon Farr.
Price: $29.99-59.99. Available at your local comic shop.

Beer Candy

Let’s face it: sometimes Hershey’s just won’t do. If your Valentine is a beer lover, these are the way to go. Beer Candy is available in caramels, taffy, and “hopdrops”, or an “everything gift box”. I hear the caramels in particular are amazing.
Price: $7.50-70.00. Order by February 9th to get your candy in time for Valentine’s Day.

Heartbeat Ring

Show your Valentine what she (or he) does to your heart with this modern-looking design. Also available in a bracelet and necklace. Great for people in the medical profession or for a unique engagement or promise ring!
Price: $79.00-$398.00.

Expensive Wine

Is your Valentine a wine snob? This tongue-in-cheek bottle will be the perfect way to show you understand their “expensive” taste. The bottles also come available in sayings like “Lucky Night” and “Please Forgive Me“.
Price: $25.00. Order by February 9th to receive your wine by Valentine’s Day.

LEGO Heart Necklace

Amazon seller “GeekyNChic” has some amazing LEGO jewelry creations. My favorite is this Burgundy heart necklace which is the perfect mix of “geek” and “romantic”. Plus the color will go with anything. Necklaces not your thing? There are plenty of great cufflinks and other jewelry pieces from the same seller.
Price: $19.99. Not eligible for Amazon Prime.

Above all, remember that gifts on Valentine’s Day (or any day, for that matter) should come from the heart. It doesn’t matter how much it cost, just that it involved some thought and shows you truly care about the giftee. A nice long letter can go a lot further than a gift.

That being said, what are you hoping for this Valentine’s Day?

(Stay tuned next week for a special recipe you can make for your Valentine!)

My Crazy Valentine

Valentine’s Day is less than a week away. And for many, Valentine’s Day is one of the worst days out there. So why not get your Valentine’s Day-hating friends together for one crazy party. All the disturbing and snarky parts of love, none of the sweetness.

Entertainment:
The event should get started with my favorite non-traditional love story:

He Loves Me He Loves Me Not
A French romance film starring Audrey Tautou? May sound too lovey-dovey for you, but I guarantee it’s not. My gentlemen friends still cringe when I bring this movie up; it makes love scary on a psychological level. I promise. Stay with it till the end.
$14.99 at Amazon.com

After a good dose of crazy, release your inner feelings with some homemade ransom Valentines. Make them for each other and then pass them out. Or even better, slip them under the doors of those who couldn’t make the party.

All you need is some construction paper, scissors, glue stick, and the thickest wedding magazine you can find. Bonus points, with a couple markers you can go to town making zombie brides!

Treats:
Just because your guests are single for Valentine’s Day doesn’t mean they don’t deserve gifts. Just stay away from anything too romantic.


Show them you care with an anatomically correct gummy heart (complete with gummy blood). Take a bit of extra time to wrap it up in a nice box, they’ll never know what’s coming.
$6.99 at ThinkGeek.com


Do you love the chalky taste of conversation hearts, but hate the sayings? Find something a bit more appropriate in this container of Bittersweets.
$9.95 at Despair.com

Want to get a bit more crafty with your treats? Try Sprinkle Bake’s Chocolate Cupcakes with Flaming Strawberries:

Fire, alcohol, fruit, and chocolate. Can’t go wrong in my book. Just make sure the true crazies stay away.

What are your plans for Valentine’s Day?