A Day in the Life of a Lady Geek: Anniversary Edition

Jun 29, 2017

Hi friends! Oh man, the week is almost over and I can't wait. I'm traveling for the 4th of July to visit my family in Washington, so my work days have been dragging! Just have to get through today and tomorrow, then I'll be taking my first week-long vacation since I started working twelve years ago.

I recently celebrated my anniversary with my husband in Woodside, CA. We've been married for three years, and we wanted to celebrate by doing something different than our standard vacations (which pretty much just involve visiting breweries in San Diego, haha). So we rented a sweet little AirBnB up in the mountains, surrounded by coastal Redwoods.

It was so much fun! Relaxing, peaceful...just what we needed. It was absolutely the best AirBnB experience we've had too. Our host was super accommodating, stocking up the fridge with sparkling water and food, giving us a map showing all of his favorite spots to hike, even offering to wash our dishes or laundry if we needed. Very cool experience.

We did spend a day in San Francisco, but I was so busy walking and enjoying all the sights that I didn't manage to take many pictures there. I did take quite a few of our spot in Woodside, as well as the surrounding areas we explored like Pescadero Beach and the Pigeon Point Lighthouse. I wanted to share a few of my faves with you all, please enjoy!

How cute is this setup? It was such a cozy, romantic little room and the extra touch with the rose petal heart and yummy chocolates was so great!

Seriously, how cute, right?!! The actual room was teeny tiny, with a bed, mini fridge, writing desk, and some shelves for all the food and dishes. It wasn't fancy, but it was absolutely heavenly. We were surrounded by Redwoods with no neighbors in sight! The only sounds we heard were bugs and birds...it was perfect.

The view just outside our door was beautiful! So much greenery, it was unlike anything I'd seen before. Naturally we spent our mornings in the guest room of the main house, where there was a couch and TV:P

The beaches along the Northern coast of California were so incredible. Very different from our Southern California beaches. The top photo is from Pescadero Beach, where we walked along some rocks in the fog and took like, a hundred photos. Foggy beaches are basically my new favorite place. The bottom shot is outside of the Pigeon Point Lighthouse, and I loved all of the pretty wildflowers!

More shots from Pigeon Point. I just couldn't get enough of the gorgeous flowers and how they looked against the rocks along the ocean. And the lighthouse was so cool! It's pretty rundown and they're fundraising to keep it maintained, so there was a cool little shop as well as an information center where we could check out the giant light that used to be in there. 

We never take many selfies because we're both so damn awkward, haha. But I really loved this one, which we took shortly after getting to Woodside. It was about a seven hour drive and we were both exhausted from waking up so early, but it was all so worth it for such a magical trip. Here's to many more anniversaries with my love.

Over to you!

What's the best trip you've ever been on? I'd love to hear all about it in the comments below!

Link Love: Celebrating 20 Years of Harry Potter

Jun 26, 2017

Hi friends! Did you know that today marks twenty years since Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was published? Geez, twenty years already?!

I remember my best friend showing me the book when it first released in the US, a year after it came out in the UK. She raved about it and let me borrow her copy, and I was instantly hooked. Looking back on that, it's so strange to think that I've known Harry, Hermione, and Ron for most of my life at this point. I have no idea where or who I'd be if J.K. Rowling hadn't shared her magic with us, and I'm grateful to have been a part of such a beautiful fandom for so long.

The Harry Potter franchise means many things to many people, and I wanted to spread the love by sharing a round-up of some of my favorite links all about the Boy Who Lived. Enjoy!

  • We'll start off the celebration with Potter Talk's '10 Ways to Celebrate Harry Potter's 20th Anniversary.' I'll definitely be doing #9 from Katy's list this weekend!
  • Celeste from Pretty Geekery has been trying recipes from the world of Harry Potter and these Cauldron Cakes look especially yummy.
  • They'd be the perfect treat for a Harry Potter party! Check out Melificent's tips for a magical party that any muggle could host:)
  • Have you seen Kay's gorgeous Harry, Hermione, and Ron quote prints? They're out of stock right now, but they still deserve all the attention because they're gorgeous.
  • Danielle of From Girlie to Nerdy has a super easy Harry Potter wand DIY up on her blog, and the results came out so magical!
  • Speaking of DIYs, Jessica created a Harry Potter version of the Guess Who board game on her blog The Nifty Nerd. This would be awesome at any Harry Potter-themed celebration, right?
  • Lastly, I couldn't devote a link love post to Harry Potter without including this amazing Yer A Wizard top by Jordandené, because duh, it's perfection.

Over to you!

How are you celebrating the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter today? Let me know in the comments below!

Fandom 5: My Most Anticipated Games from E3 2017

Jun 19, 2017

Hi friends! Now that E3 2017 is over and done with, I'm excited to chat with you all about some of the games that really caught my eye. While I can't wait for some of the bigger-name releases like Anthem and Sea of Thieves, I'm much more intrigued by these gorgeous indie games. This list in no way encompasses all of the incredible indie titles that we have to look forward to releasing within the next year, but here are a few that I'm super stoked about!

1) Laser League - Roll7/505 Games
This is the game I'm definitely most excited about right now. Laser League is a Tron-esque arcade multiplayer where your team captures beams of light in an attempt to fry the other team. Okay, so I know it's a little hard to figure out what this game is about based on the announcement trailer and my description alone, so check out a bit of the gameplay here. I love class-based games, and I think it'll be interesting to see what each class brings to the table when it comes to rolling around an arena to activate colorful lasers. It'll be open for beta testing this summer, and we can expect the finished version in 2018!

2) The Artful Escape of Francis Vendetti - Beethoven & Dinosaur/Annapurna Interactive
I don't know too much about The Artful Escape aside from the fact that it's so pretty! From this gameplay video, we can see that it's an action/adventure side-scroller with incredible graphics and a fun, rock opera soundtrack. Like, what more could I want in a game? It's all about a teen finding his own way in the world, and it looks like such a relaxing way to pass some time. No release date yet, but it'll launch when it's damn ready.

3) Ooblets - Glumberland/Double Fine Presents
There's literally nothing about Ooblets that I'm not looking forward to. It's all about collecting critters and living that small town life, and the art style is just to die for. It's so cute! Inspired by games like Harvest Moon, Animal Crossing, and Pokémon, you'll be able to customize your character, maintain your farm, run a little shop, train and battle ooblets, and go on all kinds of adventures. It's right up my alley, and I'm definitely a little bummed that I have to wait until next year to play it. Wishlist it on Steam here!

4) The Last Night - Odd Tales/Raw Fury
I know next to nothing about The Last Night at this point, but I don't care. According to its Steam page, it's a cinematic platformer set in a post-cyberpunk world where you play as Charlie, a lower-class citizen, as he navigates through his life. The art style is especially intriguing, combining 2D pixel art with gorgeous 3D backdrops. I've never seen a game quite like it, and I can't wait to try it out when it releases next year.

5) Griftlands - Klei Entertainment
Last but not least, I'm so excited about Griftlands! There isn't a ton of information out about it yet, but it's by the same company who released Don't Starve, which was a lot of fun. Griftlands is an action RPG with crazy cool cartoon graphics, and according to the developer, “everything is negotiable: money, loyalty—even morality.” It sounds really interesting, though I'm hoping we learn more about what the game involves before its release early 2018.

Over to you!

Which upcoming games are you most excited about? Are there any indie games that caught your eye at E3 2017? Let me know in the comments below!

Geeky Goodies: Rick and Morty

Jun 12, 2017

I'm not sure how I went so long without watching Rick and Morty, but I'm so glad that I finally have! My husband and I recently binged through the first two seasons and now we're itching for more. Sure, it's a little crass at times...but it's funny as hell and I absolutely love it.

The first episode of season 3 aired on April 1st, much to the surprise and joy of the fanbase. Unfortunately, there still isn't an update on when the rest of the season will air, but we can definitely expect to get schwifty this summer. Until then, check out Den of Geek's season 3 guide for all kinds of Rick and Morty fun. I, for one, can't wait for the Rickmobile to roll my way!

In the meantime, I'm having a lot of fun checking out all the goodies on Etsy. Here are just a few of my faves:

  1. Butter Robot Tattoo Flash Print | Miss Michelle Coffee
  2. Rick and Morty Women's Tank | Inkster Inc.
  3. Customizable Engraved Bracelet | Eclectic Reds Dallas
  4. Rick Sanchez Felt Clutch | Celmonster Design
  5. Mr. Meeseeks Vinyl Sticker | Mostly Stickers

Over to you!

Have you watched Rick and Morty yet? What's your favorite episode so far?

Fandom 5: Happy BFF Day!

Jun 8, 2017

Hey friends! Did you know that today is National Best Friends Day in the US? Be sure to tell your BFF that you think they're awesome! I'm lucky to have a few best friends in my life, and I wish that I could be spending the day with them instead of stuck at work, boo.

To celebrate the day, I wanted to chat a little bit about some of my favorite BFFs on television. There are so many funny, adorable, and downright badass best friends on TV that it was hard to narrow down my list, but I think I managed to pick my absolute favorites!

1) Ann & Leslie - Parks and Recreation
When I think of BFFs in pop culture, these two come to mind first. Leslie and Ann have such an epic friendship with lots of inside jokes and heart-wrenching moments. They're such different people, but they work well together and go so far out of their way to help the other time and time again. They're definitely #friendshipgoals.

2) Ash & Pikachu - Pokémon
Okay, I know the trainer/Pokémon relationship is a little complex (I mean, is it just me or does forcing your Pokémon to battle kind of suck?) but these two are totally BFFs. Ash cares about each of his Pokémon, but his bond with Pikachu is so special. Definitely makes me wish I had a Pokémon bestie of my own!

3) Rory & Lorelai - Gilmore Girls
Yes, they're related...but Rory and Lorelai are so much more than a mother and her daughter. While they both have their own sets of close friends, they were totally BFFs from the beginning. Although they went through some rough patches throughout the show, they always ended up closer as a result. Their sassy banter and snark give me life, and I'd be lying if I said I didn't want to hang out with these two every day.

4) Maka & Soul - Soul Eater
Maka and Soul's friendship is so dang fun to watch! They're both stubborn, and although they bicker often, they also care deeply for each other. Watching them grow into powerful partners while developing a strong friendship was super rewarding, so much so that I've managed to watch this anime more times than I remember=P

5) Troy & Abed - Community
Who isn't crazy about Troy and Abed's bromance? They're hilarious! I love that they're (almost) always on the same wavelength, and how cool is it that they're always down to try each other's bizarro ideas? They're basically perfect for each other.

Bonus! All the Friends

I know this is cheating, but I couldn't do a BFFs list without including my favorite friends! Yeah yeah, I know they're a bit dysfunctional, but I don't care. I have a feeling that if we were to look into the Friends universe now, thirteen years after the finale, we'd still see the group hanging out all together and laughing it up.

Over to you!

Are there any BFFs on TV that you'd add to the list? Let me know in the comments below!

Literary Lady: A Court of Wings and Ruin

Jun 5, 2017

Happy Monday, friends! It's been a long time since I've done a Literary Lady post (over a year, eesh!) and I've been itching to do another book review. Trouble is, I rarely buy physical copies of books these days. Audiobooks and eBooks are my jam, but I feel like they aren't nearly as photogenic as the good ol' paper versions. Then I figured...well, why does that matter? Sure, taking a photo of my phone might not look as pretty, but I can still talk about the books just fine, right? Pretty picture or no.

So hey, here I am chatting about Sarah J. Maas' latest release, A Court of Wings and Ruin. It's the third installment of her A Court of Thorns and Roses saga and I think it's the best so far. While my review is spoiler-free for this book, it's not so much if you haven't read the first two in the series...but if you haven't read them yet, get on it! While it's definitely not my favorite series, it's a heck of a lot of fun. If you're a fan of YA, I bet you'll enjoy this story.

For those of you who might not know what this book is about, here's the synopsis:
Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit—and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well. As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords—and hunt for allies in unexpected places.
We start right where A Court of Mist and Fury ended. Feyre is more or less 'undercover' in the Spring Court, being all kinds of sneaky and manipulative. While some of her reasoning behind her actions seemed a little tedious, I thought this first bit of the book was a lot of fun overall. I'm sure a big part of that is because I absolutely love Lucien and I'm glad we got to spend so much time with him. I'm totally on board with the whole Feyre/Lucien BFF thing.

Once this first bit is over though, the book has its ups and (major) downs. The sex scenes were boring and honestly, they could have been skipped altogether and the book would have been all the better for it. Aside from that, I thought the secondary characters (Lucien, Feyre's sisters, Amren, etc) really shine here. While I love Feyre and adore Rhysand, it was the secondary characters and their relationships with one another that made this book such a great read for me.

ACOWAR is about politics and (duh) war in a big way, and while it dragged a bit for me, I'm glad that we got to see the bigger picture of Prythian. We meet a lot of new, interesting characters and suffer a lot of heartbreak...but the ending was perfect, in my opinion.

Is it just me or did the ending feel kind of like...you know, the end? I know there are going to be more books in the series, so I'm interested to see what Maas does with them. While I would love to read more about Feyre, I definitely wouldn't say no to a few spin-offs centered around other characters (ahem, Lucien).

Watching Feyre grow into an independent, fierce badass was a hell of a ride. She was fearless, though not without her flaws. Really, she was a little too powerful in this book, but that doesn't detract from the fact that she had to endure so much suffering in her life and became a strong woman as a result. I applaud Maas for creating such a fascinating herione; her transformation has been one of my favorites in YA. 

Links: AmazonGoodreads

Over to you!

Did you read ACOWAR yet? What'd you think? Share your (spoiler-free, please) thoughts in the comment section below!

Geeking Out About: June

Jun 1, 2017

Wow, it's June already! I swear, the year is just flying by. This month isn't exactly jam packed with new stuff to look forward to, but there are still a few things that I'm really excited about. Here's what I'm geeking out about this month:

Anniversary Vacation - This month will mark three years of marriage for me and my husband, yay! We're going for a little vacation up to the redwoods in Northern California, and I couldn't be more excited! I've never been, but I'm pretty sure I'm going to fall in love with the area.

Our Dark Duet - I didn't expect to love the first book in this duology, This Savage Song, as much as I did...but it ended up being one of my favorite reads last year. I'm so excited to read the conclusion to this awesome story; June 13th can't come quickly enough!

Sugar Ray - I'm going to see Sugar Ray in concert this weekend! With SMASH MOUTH! I'm beyond excited, and I don't care how dorky that is. Sugar Ray was my favorite band when I was growing up, so I know I'm going to have a lot of fun.

Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind - I started playing Elder Scrolls Online a couple months ago and I'm absolutely loving it. It has a completely different feel than World of Warcraft, but it's a lot of fun. The Morrowind expansion is coming out on June 6th, and I'm stoked to try it out!

Cleverman - I was pleasantly surprised by the first season of Cleverman, and I'm definitely excited for the new season to come out. If you haven't checked out this awesome show yet, I highly recommend it! Here's the synopsis:

Creatures known as Hairies, endowed with incredible strength, speed and longevity, seek refuge among humans who want to silence, exploit and ultimately destroy them. As unexplained murders terrify the populace, one chosen savior -- the Cleverman -- can ensure peace, but two estranged Indigenous brothers must put their differences aside before fear, hate and greed destroy civilization.

It's super cool, and the second season premieres at this end of this month. If you're interested, the first season is available to watch on Netflix!

Rough Night - This month isn't super great for new movies. Wonder Woman will be badass, I'm sure...and then there's Rough Night. Really, I'm just excited about this awesome cast of funny ladies.

The Mist - I adore Stephen King, so of course I'm going to tune in to a new series based on his novella The Mist. The series premiere airs on the 22nd on Spike and will be a 'reimagining' of the story rather than a remake. Whatever, I'm interested.

Relaxer - Oh, Alt-J. I have a love/hate relationship with this band, but I'm really loving the new singles from their upcoming album Relaxer. I wasn't a huge fan of their second album, but I have high hopes for this one based on what I've heard so far. I'll know for sure tomorrow, since that's when the album drops!

Over to you!

What are you looking forward to this month? Let me know in the comments below so I can geek out with you!

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