Thursday, October 31, 2013

Personally....Pumpkins on the Pier

Happy Halloween!! I hope everyone has a safe and awesome time today- whether it be at a party, trick or treating, movie marathoning or chilling at home in your underwear. I thought today would be a good time to share what I did last Saturday.

My husband and I took our kids to Pumpkins on the Pier (we try to go every year, but aren't always successful). Its in a town called Pismo Beach, which is a few hours away from our town. We left Friday night after my son's soccer game and stayed at a Motel 6. We were lucky to get the room, since there was also a jazz festival going on that weekend. But its been a long time since we've stayed at a Motel 6 (we usually stay at my mother-in-law's timeshare or a Best Western) and the room was stinky and dingy. Before we went to the hotel though, we stopped at the Sunset Drive In in San Luis Obispo and caught the second feature of the night, which was Gravity.

We woke up early on Saturday and ate breakfast at Brad's, then headed over to the pier. Kids ten years old and under got a free pumpkin, so each of my kids got to choose one. There were all kinds of carnival games and bounce houses set up on the pier for the kids to enjoy, plus a pumpkin decorating station and face painting. There were a couple of food vendors, and then the police and fire departments had vehicles set up at the entrance of the pier for the kids to look at. There was also a costume contest. The groups were three years old and under, 4-6 years old, 7-9 years old, 10-12 years old (or something close to that) and an adult category. My children both entered into their respective age ranges, but neither one placed. They seemed to give awards to the homemade costumes, and I bought my children's. It was still fun though. And so many people loved my son's Sonic costume (my daughter was Tails, not too many people recognized her though). When it was time to trick or treat around the storefronts, he was waving and posing for people when they recognized him. Hes totally a future cosplayer :) The trick or treating was a little rough this year. Most of the stores ran out of candy within the first half hour (the trick or treating was supposed to last for two hours). There were a lot of people this year though, way more than last time we were there (which was two years ago,since we missed last year because of soccer).
Some of the games. Cute, right?!
A view from the pier, when it got sunny.

My son as Sonic the Hedgehog.

I couldn't get close enough to capture all the awesomeness. 
It had a treasure chest on the back and some other cool stuff.
This is one of the haystacks that held the free pumpkins for the kids.
This was taken around 11:30am. It started at 10am and was full then.

After we finished all the Halloween festivities, we went to play on the beach for a little while. While we were out there, it got cold again. There was a nice breeze too, so lots of people were flying kites. There was a group of elderly people that were out there doing tricks with their kites, it was pretty neat. Once we were too frozen to play outside anymore, we walked over to the bowling alley and played a game. After that, we headed to San Luis Obispo to eat. We ate at Hometown Buffet. We have one here at home, but wanted to try one in a nicer city (as horrible as that sounds). It was pretty good, and there was a guy there that made balloon animals for the kids. My daughter got Squirtle and my son got a Pikachu (or Fingerchu as the balloon man called it). After that, we headed home. 

Sometimes its nice to get out of town, don't you think?

AK's note: The photos in this post were all taken by me. If you use any of them, please give proper credit and link back accordingly, thank you :)

Monday, October 28, 2013

Monday Mix Up #10

Happy Halloween folks! I know its still a few days away, but I just love love love Halloween so much. Today's Monday Mix Up is dedicated to the upcoming festivities. Happy Haunting!!

FYI: This post is a little video heavy :)

Oingo Boingo- Weird Science. I love the movie as much as I love this song.
  And it just makes me think of Halloween. 
Just like this next song from them....

Oingo Boingo- Dead Man's Party. 

Jack and Sally. I love the Nightmare Before Christmas.
Image from Pinterest.

Hocus Pocus! My favorite Halloween movie ever.
Amuck, amuck, amuck!!

Its The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.
And the best line ever, "I got a rock."

Child's Play candy mix. My favorite Halloween candy buy,
this bag lasts forever. I still look for the Tootsie Pop wrappers with the Indian shooting the star lol.
Available from Walmart and other retailers.

Minions! This is the "Despicable 3" design by Tom Kurzanski
offered on TeeFury on October 8th.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Mage Food: Pot Roast Nachos

A few years ago while visiting Las Vegas, I went to Roxy's Diner inside the Stratosphere. It was cute and 50's inspired, and they had all these great combinations of food that I hadn't heard of. I ordered their Pot Roast Nachos (which, if click the link above, are no longer on their menu), and they were delicious. I've made them a few times since then here at home, and thought I would share my recipe with you. Happy eating!

You will need:
*a crock pot to cook your roast in
*a roast
*a package of dry onion soup mix
*a can of Cream of Mushroom soup
*a bottle of Nacho Cheese (I like Tostitos Salsa Con Queso)
*a can of Chili with Beans
*Sour cream, olives, jalapenos, whatever you like to use as nacho toppings
Note: I didn't put specific can sizes because you change it up to fit the size of your family or party. The more you need, the bigger the can. This recipe is very adjustable.

Before anything, you will need to cook your pot roast.

Place your roast, the dry onion soup mix, the cream of mushroom soup and one soup can full of water into your crock pot. Mix it up a little, and make sure the roast gets covered in the mixture. Set your crock pot's heat to low and let it cook for eight (8) hours. Yes. Eight hours.

When your roast is about done, put your beans and cheese on the stove to heat (low heat and in separate pots preferably). Once they're to desired heat, pull your roast out, slice it up and you're ready to go. I use Doritos Nacho Cheese chips for my nachos, because my kids like them better than regular tortilla chips. But I had them with tortilla chips at the Stratosphere, and the first few times I made them at home I also used tortilla chips, and they came out just fine, so its really just a matter of preference.

If you try these out, let me know what you think! Even if you don't use the pot  roast, but just try the Dorito chips in your recipe. This is a relatively quick meal to make, and with so many ways to make it, its usually a crowd pleaser :)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Monday Mix Up #9 Part Two (A Day Late)

AK's note: This didn't post when it was supposed to, so yay, I got to rewrite it and add more to the list :)

My love of Halloween is overflowing today, and in this post I'm sharing some links to other great blogs that have shared some festive, fun ideas. Use them for family movie nights, class parties or however you wish to celebrate this spooktacular occasion!

1. Party food ideas for your little ones from Kaelah Bee. Ranging from healthy to not so, theres something for everyone in this mix.

2. Halloween movie night, complete with snack ideas from the ladies over at eighteen25. How awesome is that?

3. Also from the ladies at eighteen25,  these cute doughnuts! They'll take a bite out of you!

4. Need some teevee recommendations? Check out this post from The Nerdy Girlie. I would add the Halloween episodes of Pretty Little Liars. They're pretty awesome, but I think the show as a whole is pretty awesome. 
This is last year's Halloween ad. 
Found here.

5.Pumpkin painting from MINi Style. Meant as an alternative to pumpkin carving for younger children, it translates nicely for adults. Last year my kids and I painted our pumpkins and they help up really I didn't have to throw them away until February well. 

6. This family costume of Peter Pan and the Lost Boys is adorable. Found on A Beautiful Mess, it features Katie and her family of Skunkboy fame.
7. Also from A Beautiful Mess, a nice little roundup of Halloween goodness, including creative ways to eat your Halloween candy and last minute costume ideas. Search the Halloween tag for more awesome ideas.

8. Monster mouths! Have I shared this before? I feel like I have. Oh well, it bears repeating. It makes fruit more appealing (lol) to children. Found on Thirty Handmade Days, where there are a ton of cute Halloween ideas. Go check them out!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Monday Mix Up #9

Happy Monday everyone! This week's theme is dedicated to the colors of October: orange, black, purple, and green.

"Its Only Forever" tee by MedusaD. It was offered on TeeFury on October 7th. I love The Labyrinth and the purple color is nice too. The Labyrinth is a nice October movie; its full of fantasy and David Bowie is a stunning bad guy. 

My front door.  
The window clings are from the dollar bin at Target.

Feet, leaf, and Hello Kitty images from weheartit.

This Halloween wreath is awesome! 
Available from Southern Charm Wreaths.

M&Ms! Yummy! 
Image found here.

This cute Hello tee has a glow in the dark ghost. 
Buy it here.

Gothic Garden Martha Skull Stretch Bracelet by Tarina Tarantino.
Buy it here.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Monday Mix Up #8

Hello Monday! This week's theme is black cats, because 1) they are fitting for the month of October 2) I love cats and 3) I desperately want a black cat. Also, if you missed last Friday's Poppin' Off post about Forever 21's Bats and Cats collection, I highly suggest you read it as it fits nicely with today's theme :)

Personal Protection Cat Keychain
Your personal protection matters, but it doesn't have to be ugly. This cute cat can be used against attackers if you're ever in that position. Just be careful to maintain your grip, as with all personal safety devices, it can be used against you if your attacker gets ahold of it. Just jab with the cat ears into a sensitive area and run.

Salem Saberhagen! My favorite black cat. 
Gif from College Candy.

My second favorite black cat (and favorite NCIS agent), Thackery Binx from Hocus Pocus!
Fun fact, his human self was played by Sean Murray, but voiced by Jason Marsden (who also voiced him in cat form).

This Muertos Black Cat Greeting Card from AfricanGrey is amazing.
Buy it here

Ricky Martin- Livin La Vida Loca. 
Only for the black cat reference at the beginning of the song :)

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Halloween Costume 2013

I don't usually dress up for Halloween, but this year I've caught the bug. After San Diego Comic Con, I started seeing lots of photos of cosplayers dressed as hipster Disney princesses. I've seen the memes and think they're great, but seeing people dress like that....well, I think its pretty darn cool. It was a toss up between Belle and Snow White. Belle has always been one of my favorites because of her love of books, while Snow White was more of a looks thing (growing up, I got told I looked like her almost every day.) I went back and forth internally for a few days and I have decided to be Hipster Belle.

Here's a link to my Pinterest board that I've made for inspiration. I pretty much have all my costume components already, but if Halloween goes well, I may wear it to Stan Lee's Comikaze in November (I'll be there the 3rd, more than likely), so it will probably need some tweaking.

I want to put this on my shirt.
Image from here

I ordered these pants from Target. I haven't received them yet, 
but the picture looks light, so I bought some dye to darken them.

 What are you going to be for Halloween? 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Poppin' Off- Bats and Cats Collection at Forever 21

Forever 21 really surprises me sometimes. I never would've guessed them to be such a retailer of comic inspired clothing, but over the past few months they have really shone in the nerdy fashion department. Their latest collection, Bats and Cats, is equally amazing, and a must for true Batman/Catwoman fans.
Priced from $2.80 (Gone Batty Nail Stickers) to $42.80 (Standout Bat Jacket), the collection is easy on the wallet. And, as an added bonus, there's a mens collection too! Below are some of my favorite picks from the Bats and Cats Collection.

And from the men's collection:

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Poppin' Off Early Edition- Society, Science, Survival: Lessons from AMC's The Walking Dead

Have you ever watched The Walking Dead and wondered how you'd fair if you were in a situation like theirs? Have you ever wondered if a zombie apocalypse is even plausible, and if so, would you be able to identify what you needed to do to survive? If you answered yes to these questions, then I suggest you enroll in this free, online class taught by University of California Irvine instructors (see their official press release here).

The class starts on October 14, the day after the Season 4 premiere. They have special provisions put in place to avoid spoilers for those who have yet to see each episode. Below is the course description from the enrollment site:

From understanding social identities to modeling the spread of disease, this eight-week course will span key science and survival themes using AMC’s The Walking Dead as its basis. Four faculty members from the University of California, Irvine will take you on an inter-disciplinary academic journey deep into the world of AMC’s The Walking Dead, exploring the following topics:
  • Maslow’s hierarchy of needs—is survival just about being alive?
  • Social order and structures—from the farm and the prison to Woodbury
  • Social identity, roles, and stereotyping—as shown through leaders like Rick and the Governor
  • The role of public health in society—from the CDC to local community organizations
  • The spread of infectious disease and population modeling—swarm!
  • The role of energy and momentum in damage control—how can you best protect yourself?
  • Nutrition in a post-apocalyptic world—are squirrels really good for you?
  • Managing stress in disaster situations—what’s the long-term effect of always sleeping with one eye open?
Each week we’ll watch engaging lectures, listen to expert interviews, watch exclusive interviews with cast members talking about their characters, use key scenes from the show to illustrate course learning, read interesting articles, review academic resources, participate in large and small group discussions, and—of course—test our learning with quizzes. We recommend that you plan on spending about two (2) to four (4) hours per week on this course, though we believe the course is compelling enough you’ll want to spend more time.
At the end of this course, you will be able to:
  • Describe how infectious diseases—like a zombie epidemic—spread and are managed
  • Apply various models of society and Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to existing and emerging societies as a means for understanding human behavior
  • Analyze existing social roles and stereotypes as they exist today and in an emerging world
  • Debate the role of public health organizations in society
  • Describe how mathematical equations for population dynamics can be used to study disease spread and interventions
  • Apply concepts of energy and momentum appropriately when analyzing collisions and other activities that either inflict or prevent damage
  • Summarize multiple methods for managing stress in disaster situations
The links I've included have my friend code (WP3MM8) in them. When you enroll with a friend code, it links you to others who are also using that code. According to the email they send you after enrollment, the code will help you survive attacks from biters, walkers, the living....and might help you win cool prizes. And the super cool part is, you get your own friend code once you sign up, so you can share the fun and have your own fair shot at winning prizes. I am very excited for this and I hope you'll join me.  

Walking Dead photo from

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

WoW Wednesday- Contributors Wanted/Needed

Hello! If school wasn't draining my ability to write nice, lengthy and articulate posts, I'd be writing a lot more about WoW :) With that being said, I am looking for some lady WoW players to do profiles on. Also, I'd really like someone for a guest post on the Siege of Orgrimmar content (I still have yet to make it there myself). If you're interested, leave me a comment below with an email address that's good to reach you quickly at. I'd really appreciate it!! Thanks!!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Monday Mix Up #7

Maybe a theme to these Monday Mix Ups will make them easier to do? We shall see. This week's theme is.... Fall!!! I don't get leaves that change color where I live, and its still like 80something degrees every day. So this is a (mostly) wishful thinking fall list.

Childish Gambino- Lights Turned On
1) The picture is pretty fall leaves. 2) I love this song. Who am I kidding? I love every song on the EP. He's the best. 3) I listened to EP a lot during the rainy months last year. It made driving to school in that mess more tolerable. 

I want leaves like this. Someday I would like to visit the East Coast during Fall, so I can see something like this in real life. 
Image from

 I really would like to visit Disneyland at Halloween time. Christmastime is another goal. Image from weheartit. 
Yeah, pretty much none of these things apply to Fall here (except Thanksgiving, pumpkin carving and yummy smelling candles), but a girl can dream. Image from weheartit.

Cranberry Splash Sierra Mist. Its seasonal and its delicious. 

And speaking of seasonal deliciousness, here are my top food picks:

Pumpkin everything!!! So yummy! 
Image from Elana's Pantry.

Honeycrisp Apples. I love these things! 

Holiday Seedless Grapes. These are the best grapes. 

What are your favorite fall things?

Friday, October 4, 2013

Poppin' Off- Nerdy Reality TeeVee

Being nerdy is a thing now. So like anything thats trendy, there are teevee shows about being nerdy. Some might say it even exploits being nerdy. I'm going to talk about a few shows and how I feel about them, and feel free to tell me in the comments below if you think reality nerd teevee is helpful or detrimental to the nerd culture.

*My Life As Liz (MTV)- This to me is the first reality nerd teevee show. Started in 2010, it followed Liz Lee and her Nerd Herd through her senior year in a small Texas town. By the time Season 2 was set to air, plenty of critics had come out against the show, calling it more of a sitcom or scripted reality show than actual reality (MTV prefers to call it a mockumentary at this point). I loved the show, I loved Liz Lee. I still think shes a good representation of a nerd girl and it was a nice change of pace from the regular trashy chicks MTV usually features on their "reality"  shows.
This is the Season One cast of My Life as Liz.

*King of the Nerds (TBS)- I was so excited for this show, and I don't think it disappointed. Nerdy guys and gals living in the same house, completing nerd based challenged for a chance to be the King of the Nerds. I felt that the guys that were cast for the first season fit the nerd stereotype a lot more than the girls did (with the exception for Alana. And when I wasn't hating her for being annoying, I felt sorry for her, because she didn't fit in at all). My favorites for the season were Ivan and Danielle (aka TradeChat! I post her WoW videos from time to time), and even though neither one of them won, they did get awfully close. And I think Genevieve probably should've been the winner, because she was nerdier than Celeste. BUT, it was a game, and Celeste is a pro gamer, so its really no surprise.
That's me with Ivan at WonderCon this year in Anaheim. He was such a nice guy and I was having a total fangirl freakout meeting him! 

*Heroes of Cosplay (SyFy)- Honestly, I didn't know this show existed until about two weeks ago. I mean, I heard a little about it on Instagram (its actually the reason I'm writing this), but I couldn't tell you anything about it. I was writing a paper on gender confusion and needed some background noise. I saw that the SyFy channel was marathoning the show, so I clicked over to it. Big mistake. I was sucked in right away, and it took forever for me to get my paper done. I've heard a lot of cosplayers complain about the show though, saying its too Project Runway and portrays the world of cosplay as cutthroat and mean. Well, I love Project Runway, maybe that's why I got sucked in? Lol, really though. I didn't catch that vibe. And as far as the cattiness, or drama that was shown, well......that's reality teevee for you. But, I am also not a cosplayer, so I don't know anything about costume construction or contests or anything about that world. And if I had a hobby that I loved and a show was made about it, but I thought it misrepresented it, I'd be pretty pissed too.

*Fangasm (SyFy)- Oh Fangasm, the new kid on the block. I didn't get to watch the show the night it premiered, I had to wait a few days (thank goodness for DVRs). I heard that this show is what nerd reality teevee is supposed to be, and its the second reason why I'm writing this. But......I didn't see the difference between this show and say, King of the Nerds. Here, they are seven interns, working to make Stan Lee's Comikaze a success. Okay. But they are still living in the same apartment, and are still completing nerdy objectives. To me, its like a nerdy version of Real World (awkward hot tubs moments and all). Doesn't mean I hate it though. In fact, I really loved how Molly was so disappointed when they went to the Geek Pride Day event, and saw all the skanky girls dressed as superheroes and actually said something about it exploiting geek culture. Its fake geek girls like them that give the rest of us a bad name, and kudos to Molly for pointing it out. I think there will be a lot of fun to come out of the series, and hopefully there will be a season two so I can audition :) Who wouldn't want to intern for Stan freaking Lee?!!?!
The cast of Fangasm.