Friday, October 28, 2011

...and the winner is...

The winner of the Young Justice dvd is:

#2 Annika!

Congrats! Email me your address and thanks to everyone for entering!


Monday, October 24, 2011

Young Justice + GIVEAWAY!

Superheroes are big in our house. We read comics, draw comics, watch comics and comics.

Young Justice is on the Cartoon Network and is a fave show of the Baby's. Anything with Batman in it is an automatic favorite, really. Based on characters by DC Comics, Young Justice follows young superheroes: Robin, Aqualad, Kid Flash, Superboy and Miss Martian as they work together to not only fight crime, but figure out life under their Justice League Mentors. Yep, old skool JL members Batman, Aquaman, Flash and Green Arrow make appearances in the show and watch over their protégés.

When I first saw the show I wondered how the Baby would relate because the characters were in their teens and quite frankly, VERY teen-like. You know - a little whiny, a little emo and a whole lot of attitude.

By the second season I think the characters were really flushed out and came into their own. With the addition of new team members there was more drama, more fight and more fun.

The Baby loved Young Justice almost instantly. The characters diverse personalities, scenes of constant action and color - is everything a young boy could want out of a superhero show.

His favorite character is Robin, I'm guessing because of his closeness with Batman and also because he is a leader. My fave character is Kid Flash because his humor lightens the show and he's reminiscent of the Flash character from Batman: The Brave and the Bold - Season One, Part One, one of my all-time favorite shows.

I think kids love the fact that with all the angst of school and friendships, the 'young version of our favorite superheroes are much more relatable in everyday life.

Thanks to Warner Bros now you can experience Young Justice too! I'm giving away one copy of Young Justice on dvd - just leave a comment on this post from now until Wednesday October 26th. I think you'll really love this series!

Here's how you can tell a show is popular in our house... watch Batman while you are dressed as Batman. Apparently it really completes the viewing experience.

Young Justice: Season One V.1
Young Justice: Season One V. 2

**full disclosure: Warner Brothers provided me with a copy of Young Justice: Season One V. 2 for review.

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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Deus ex machina

I rarely go to the movies. If I'm going to pay $14, it better be darn worth it. But O.G. had some free movie tix and baseball and Brad Pitt sounded pretty good.

When I walked into the theater I was shocked to see these crazy futuristic machines that looked like teleporters. In fact, they were soda dispensers! I was so excited, I love push button-y things! I must have shown my face cards because the theater worker handed me a little taster cup and told me to have fun. AWESOME.

Have you ever seen a 90 year old confronted with new technology? It's hilarious. O.G. couldn't figure out what the heck was going and much like her Wii bowling wasn't quick to get the hang of it. It was all too much trouble for some soda.

So she left me to it and I pushed every button known to man. I was happy to see these were Coke machines - I just came back from Seattle where apparently it's a "Pepsi town," uh, no thanks. If I was dying in a desert and there was a mirage of Pepsi I think I'd just move on. Sorry.

8 kinds of Sprite!
Raspberry Coke!
All kinds of juice!

It was nuts. Apparently there are 140 different drinks that come out of that thing. Very reminscent of World of Coke on the Vegas strip, oh so long ago. The machine was fun, crazy and downright confusing. I do miss human beings now and again.

O.G., she decided to just die in the desert. No drink for her. Just baseball and Brad Pitt.

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Monday, October 17, 2011

Seattle - eats

Oh come now, you didn't think I'd go on a trip and not eat my heart out, right? Well there was too much fun in the last post so I split my Seattle recap up and this one's all about the sweets!

On our whirlwind half-day of sightseeing, my friend Sarah and I packed in a lot of shops and also stopped by Molly Moon's ice cream.

Molly Moon's was already on my radar before I got off the plane. Homemade ice cream using local dairy, incorporating unique ingredients and flavors. That's my kind of frozen treat.
Sarah got the blackberry which sounded amazing but I have this weird habit of ONLY getting coffee ice cream whenever I visit a new store.

I don't know, perhaps it's the rationale of being able to say I've tried every coffee ice cream on the face of this earth so I know what the best one is. And this one was pretty darn good - nice flecks of coffee bean and a creamy base that was flavorful and solid, an all around amazing coffee ice cream.
Also I'm a sucker for things that are color coordinated, clean and modern. The store was immaculate and the ice cream superb. The smell of freshly made waffle cones didn't hurt either.

The second day of my vacation was actually the first day of the con so my schedule was pretty packed, but I managed to escape for a few hours. My friend Rhonda who is local to Seattle, picked me up and when she asked what I wanted to do I replied "Take me to all the bakeries you can fit in two hours." Yeah. That's a vacation to me.
First stop was Dahlia Bakery by Tom Douglas, a popular Seattle chef. If only I had more time I'd love to visit one of the TWELVE restaurants that he has, but for this trip just the bakery had to do.
Since I was still thinking about the blackberry ice cream Sarah had the day before - a Blackberry Lemon Meringue Tart was definitely the first thing in the case that caught my eye.

It was AMAZING. A perfectly crisp crust, light layer of blackberry and a perfect lemon filling, topped with soft, peaky meringue. You know when you eat something and you never want it to end? That was it.
We sat and talked as I digested but it was on to the next - Macrina Bakery. This place was tiny and PACKED. While the display case was small I could tell they knew their stuff. The cupcakes looked fantastic but since I had already consumed enough sugar for the day and I had no fridge in the hotel - there was no way I wanted to keep cream cheese frosting out for 4+ hours. I'm insanely paranoid.

Instead I opted for a chocolate chip cookie and I have to say, that Macrina chocolate chip was one of the best cookies I've ever had. Crispy yet soft in the middle, with the perfect amount of chocolate throughout.
Just when I thought I could take no more, I realized that Top Pot Donuts was a few blocks away. Oh man. You know, *I* know donuts and I had to try these. Honestly, when I walked in I wanted to stay forever. It was comfy, cozy and there were donuts everywhere. The vast array of flavors sort of threw me for a loop. There was no way I could eat a dozen...right? Gah, no - so instead I asked the counterperson for some 'donut advice' what would keep best (again, food spoilage paranoia) and what was the best tasting.

I ended up getting a cinnamon sugar cake donut and a maple glazed old fashioned - I knew if I brought them back to the hotel, Sarah had similar tastes and later that night after all the con panels we could taste test the donuts.
Even hours later I will tell you...the donuts were FANTASTIC. Wow. They weren't too greasy, wonderfully flavorful, cake-y and most importantly to me, much like the coffee ice cream base point - the maple was amazing. I always get maple donuts, something about the sweet deep flavor that seems to round out pastries in the best possible way and these Top Pot Maple Donuts were unforgettable.
Sure there was real food on this trip. Lovely sandwiches, Mexican street tacos even a giant...vat...of boiling cheese. Ugh. What happens at CheeseCon stays at CheeseCon. I even contributed to the sweet weekend by bringing Yoda cookies (recipe here) to hand out at my parenting panel.

In the end it's the sweets of the city that I always look forward to. You can tell how great a city is by the way they indulge and these Seattle treats were out of this world!

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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Seattle - sights

Seattle is one of my favorite towns and I have to say, of anywhere - I'd most likely move there. Rain up there isn't the end of the world like it is in L.A. and it's so easy to get around by both car and public transportation. I have a lot of friends who call Seattle home and with good reason, it's an amazing place.
I was visiting Seattle for Geek Girl Con and let me say, I LOVED our hotel. The Maxwell's theme was pineapple - I don't know why but it was cute. Nice, clean and it was a perfect location, right next to the Seattle Center where the con was located. But hold onto your hats, the best part? Everyday at 4:30 they brought out free pineapple cupcakes. I would like to live here, thanks.

My friend Sarah and I were there for the Con but we had just half a day to explore the city and even managed to take a public bus. You don't understand, this is quite the accomplishment for someone from L.A. I do NOT take public transport. But I figured it out and we headed to the first stop: Cakespy.
Jessie is a friend. Yeah you know she's been a good friend of mine...wait. No. Seriously. Jessie and I have been friends for years and I feel our friendship has only grown because it is centered around our love of cake and pastries. That's a solid friendship.

Not only is she an artist and entrepreneur, she also owns the cutest of shops in Capitol Hill. There are tons of her own creations on mugs, stationery and artwork but she also encourages and curates artwork from other lovers of all things sweet from all around the world.

You also can find many of my items from my stationery line here, and it was awesome to finally spend some time together in person!
Jessie recommended a few places for us to check out: Elliot Bay Books, little boutiques here and there, but of course I was taken with Melrose Market due to the fresh cheeses, meats and wares. Love that place.
As it were, we were here for Geek Girl Con so it only made sense to geek out and go to the EMP which had a whole science fiction exhibit on Battlestar Galactica. Pretty. Darn. Awesome.

There were full sized ships, costumes and props! I especially liked the behind the scenes videos which gave a lot of insight to the show.

By the end of the day we were beat. We headed back to our hotel...just in time for free cupcakes. A perfect end to a perfect day.

*next week - Seattle eats...

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Geek Girl Con 2011

This weekend I was in Seattle at Geek Girl Con!

I was asked to speak on a panel about parenting geeky kids, something I know quite a bit about. I talked about our After-Dinner-Art projects and encouraging kids in whatever they are interested in. Oh yes, and I did hand out homemade Yoda cookies to the very enthusiastic, hungry + geeky crowd.

I also spoke on another panel about running my own business. Since I have both an online retail business and a recipe blog that is also a business - I had a lot to say about the best way to promote through twitter and facebook. I was honored to be able to talk about juggling life along with long hours doing something I love.

I went to the con not knowing what to expect and by the end of the weekend I was shocked at just how much the experience touched me.

More than any other con I came away with a renewed desire to create, to become a better person. For the first time at a con - every single panel topic appealed to me and pertained to my interests. It was small enough to be able to walk and talk with my heroes and my peers and it really felt like the things that I did mattered.

I heard some people felt that the word 'Girl' made it exclusionary. I'd have to disagree. Geek Girl Con was all encompassing of all genres and no place showed that more than the vendor floor. There were video games, steampunk tables, artwork, jewelry and books. Things of all sorts of geeky nature that was of interest to every type of geek girl.

Not only was I lucky enough to speak on panels but I had many friends who also spoke on what they were passionate about. Geek girls in popular culture, Star Wars, Star Trek, Women in Fantasy and even a dude's panel about men who care about female characters and why they are important no matter what their gender.
There were women from television, movies, writers, artists - it was an amazing group of empowered women who all were just happy to celebrate our love of geek culture.

It was a fantastic weekend and I left feeling fulfilled and hopeful. Geek Girl Con was about camaraderie, creativity and support and I can't wait until the next one.

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Thursday, October 06, 2011

First family of superheroes

School is killing me and I'm not even the one taking classes. No, between school, homework, nightly reading, art class, chess club, karate and swim - well, I'm exhausted. I'm tired just writing it. Let me take a nap I'll be right back...zzz.

The kids have a lot going on but I STILL have them do After-Dinner-Art. I don't help the kids, they have to do the artwork themselves. The way I get the kids to be creative is to hand them a picture and say DO IT. I should be a life coach. Kidding. Really though the things the kids ask to draw are always crazy complicated. No one wants to just draw flowers? A cat? Hello? Bueller? Nope. It's always something big - so if they want to draw the ENTIRE FANTASTIC FOUR IN ACTION...well good luck.

The kids are pretty good with sizing and proportions and with comic book characters it's ok to be a little 'off' at times, it just gives the drawing more movement.

These were made as a gift for 'Uncle Paul' who loves Fantastic Four. The kids did pretty well considering I only gave them 15 minutes and said DO IT FAST. Again - you probably shouldn't hire me as your life coach.

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Sunday, October 02, 2011

Bowling for soup

Back in the day O.G. was a great bowler, she even once had a perfect 300 game. As she got older she developed horrible arthritis which changed her fingers and made everything more painful and difficult. I don't think she's bowled in at least 40 years.

My cousin recently gave O.G. a Wii and it's amazing because now...she can bowl. Granted it's not the same - as O.G. will attest - but still I think it's pretty cool that she can at least simulate the sport she used to love. Hey, it's the future peeps.

Of course the kids are experts and have to help her figure how to use the Wii remote, she doesn't quite understand all the buttons and this and that, but she does like the concept.

The kids like to go over and challenge her (and I like to take a nap on the couch, frankly) and it gets pretty heated. Since they keep beating her she threatens to practice all night...if she could only figure out how to turn the darn thing on...

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