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Valentines at Gallifrey One 2014

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So this was my third Gally, and unfortunately for me, probably my worst.  I wasn’t as prepared as I usually am.  I went in thinking I was an old pro and that I could wing it.  That was SO not the case.  Probably the best thing was that I spent less money this year than last and that was me really budgeting for parking, food, and finally taking advantage of the hospitality suite.  Seriously, if you have kids or teenagers that are begging you for food, you don’t need to shell out tons of money, you can make them wait for a meal and tell them to go downstairs and get some snacks and water.  Oh if I’d only done that last year when I had two young people with me!  Since I’m a local I also had the advantage of bringing a small cooler with us to our hotel with more snacks, sandwiches, water, and such.

Valentines 2014What preoccupied me this year was Valentine’s Day.  Last year the con was a few days after and this year it was during but I have two kids that needed me to bring stuff to their schools (brownie roll-out cookies) on Thursday and I wanted to bake my husband his favorite cake before I left.  You know, the Valentine’s Cake that I also made him for his birthday, not the least complicated of cakes and not one that keeps well (whipped cream & strawberries).  So you can imagine my dismay that he hadn’t even had a bite of it till after we got home.  I was really bummed because instead of making his cake Thursday I could have finished my daughter’s cosplay of Doctor Whooves which I didn’t finish till Saturday morning in our hotel room.  It’s okay, he brought my niece over and she, my kid and I finished half of it before it went all bad.  The hubs did get a slice but just one.

Yeah, totally Lilly Potter on the right. She was in an episode of Doctor Who.  She was pretty awesome and her handler totally appreciated the cosplay I made for my daughter.

Yeah, totally Lilly Potter on the right. She was in an episode of Doctor Who. She was pretty awesome and her handler totally appreciated the cosplay I made for my daughter.

Friday we took our pictures.  That was another reason I had some spending money left over.  This year I prepurchased our pictures and that made a big difference.  I never got my email from Froggy’s Photos so I did have to stand in the messed up line on Friday with my receipt to get my photo cards but I didn’t mind.  It was the one hiccup in an otherwise superbly run con and swiftly dealt with.  Mostly we just walked around on Friday trying to find our stickers for our program books.  These yearly program book games are where my kid excels and its definitely something we like to do together at the con.  We took our pictures with Arthur Darvill and Paul McGann which was one of the highlights for us.  We also got Arthur Darvill’s autograph on Friday where the only things we asked were what is favorite Once song was to sing and what was his favorite football club.  His answers were “Gold” and Aston Villa respectively,  just in case you were wondering.

The best Stormageddon cosplay, my Chris Hardwick/Chloe Dykstra walk by (all I could say was "Chris Hardwick" and wave hi), and a Turn Left cosplay I loved.

The best Stormageddon cosplay, my Chris Hardwick/Chloe Dykstra walk by (all I could say was “Chris Hardwick” and wave hi, he said hi back but I still feel all dorky about it), and a Turn Left cosplay I loved.

I just really didn’t look at the programming beforehand and raising the subject of walking into a panel that didn’t interest the preteen just elicits the sigh of all sighs and that look of What am I gonna do? mixed with Do I have to go with you?  So mostly we just hung out and looked around.  Which isn’t to say that we didn’t have the best time doing that and there’s so much of that to do there that you’d never be bored, but I missed the differing insights into a show that I love and that I always get with a good panel.  We did hit a few panels in the big room though and I loved every minute of it.  Friday we went to the Travels with the Doctor panel which had bunches of people in it including Arthur and Billie Piper and quite a good one.  It was very nice to see some of my favorite classic Doctor companions and even though I really haven’t watched much classic who, I still have a few favorites.  After that we left to go back to our hotel for a bit to rest and eat.  We had such a good time last year on Friday night and we were hoping to have the same kinda fun this year.  Well, she did.  Once we got back I realized the programming I wanted to go to was probably not for her.  She wasn’t comfortable playing poker even though she could because there was no money involved so we went upstairs to a room we had been eyeing all day, the Hub.  It was quite the game room with board games, card games, puzzle games and greatness.  I just happened to look at the “Extra Programming” for Friday and they were going to start a game of Werewolves of Millers Hollow at 10pm. We both played the first time and she stayed to play a second time.  She had so much fun even though she didn’t get to do much (just a villager both times) but I think playing with Doctor Who fans around her own age helped her loosen up a bit.  I played a smidge of poker during her second game of Werewolf but to no avail.  I didn’t get more than a few tickets to enter into a raffle and made it back upstairs before her second game was over.  We left after that so I could work on her costume and hopefully get some sleep.

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A Berry Special 2 Recipe Post (Vanilla Berries and Raspberry Cake Filling)

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Berry Special Cake via NerdyBaker.wordpress.com

I promised you the recipe for Vanilla Berries from my Hunger Games Party post so I made them again when we went camping.  The only problem is that I still didn’t get decent enough pictures of them to merit it’s own post.  The same thing goes for the raspberry filling that I made for my cousin’s (well, two cousins and my brother in law’s) birthday party.  I mean I couldn’t go.  It was my oldest’s 8th dance recital and at her studio she gets a big award for that one.  We didn’t want to miss it.  My aunt had already commissioned me though, to make my cousin’s cake and since she went a little different with the favors (a fruit filling!) I didn’t care how busy I was with the girls’ recital, I was GOING to make this cake.  (Yes, I realize that it is still a “plain” chocolate cake with buttercream but its like pulling teeth to get my family to go outside of the box with the flavors they use in their cakes so I was way gung ho.)

Berry Special Vanilla Berries

I made sure that the one night that I didn’t have to be at the recital with my girls, I was going to be making this cake.  I baked the cake that day, did hair, dropped them off, came home to make the filling and frosting, put the cake together, and with the crumb coat on made it back to pick up my girls in plenty of time.  (It’s a long recital.)  The next day was more of the same but this time the cake had to be finished, dropped off, and all kids dressed and ready to go by early afternoon and I still didn’t know how I was going to decorate it.  Did I mention that it was super hot that week?  Yeah, so after each step in the decorating process I had to put the cake back in the fridge to chill.  It didn’t help matters that I was SUPER paranoid that the filling was going to spill out at any moment.  It’s not because I didn’t have any faith in my recipe or my cake its just that sort of thing tends to happen when you absolutely have NO TIME for that sort of thing to happen.  Thankfully, even with the horrid heat in the car, with the air conditioning that wouldn’t cool completely because we were stuck in traffic but still stayed squarely on the cake during the drive (my poor babies) my cake stayed intact and it was delivered to my sister’s to be delivered to the party, on time.

The verdict was a big thumbs up.  And although no one took pictures of a slice (I have a blog to run here people,  you could help me out),  I was assured the filling stayed put as it should and didn’t spill out. It’s just one of those deep seated fears whenever I am trying a new filling.

Berry Special Raspberry Filling via NerdyBaker.wordpress.com

My GeekyLinks for this week are PLENTY so we’ll start now. Frakker Lacquer is now processing orders so I went and bought three bottles yesterday. I’m gonna have to buy more because how can I live my life without Little Green Man and Protocol Droid?  For any panels you may have wanted to see at Comic Con a really great resource is GeekNation.  However, its also worth checking out the Nerd Machine for some panels because I preferred the Orphan Black panel (skip ahead 10 minutes) from Nerd HQ rather than the official Comic Con one. (Yeah, I said it.) I know Clint and Darrell from Golden Spiral Media (my beloved Fringe podcast guys) were there and have a ton of coverage debuting this week and I am looking forward to it.  So far my favorite trailers coming out of the con are Catching Fire, Gravity, and Veronica Mars.  Have fun checking some of this stuff out!

Berry Special Cake with Raspberry Filling via NerdyBaker.wordpress.com

Vanilla Berries

Ingredients

2 16oz containers of strawberries, washed and halved

1 6oz container of blueberries, washed

1 6oz container of raspberries, washed

1 6oz container of blackberries, washed

1/3 cup water

1/3 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla bean paste or 1/2 vanilla bean (you can use vanilla extract but I don’t recommend it)

Method

In a small saucepan, mix the water and sugar together and stir over medium heat until dissolved. Stir in the vanilla bean paste and let the mixture cool to room temperature.
To use the 1/2 vanilla bean, slice it in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds.  Put the seeds and pod into the sugar and water. Once your sugar is dissolved and the mixture is cooled, remove the pod.
To use vanilla extract, make your simple syrup with the sugar and water and wait till the mixture is at room temperature before stirring in the extract. (Using this method you can sometimes smell the alcohol in the vanilla, not appetizing I know but it’ll do in a pinch.)

Mix all of the berries in a large bowl and when your vanilla syrup is cool to room temperature, pour all over your berries.  I tend to not use all of the syrup (I use about 90%) but I always make this amount “just in case”.  Stir carefully, cover and chill until ready to serve.  When berries are on sale and in season, it makes a great dish to bring to a party.

Raspberry Cake Filling

Ingredients

1 6oz container of raspberries, washed

1/4 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tablespoons cornstarch

2 teaspoons water

Method

Make your filling by combining raspberries, sugar, water, cinnamon and cornstarch in a small saucepan.  Cook on low heat for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring constantly until the sauce is thickend and the berries are a bit soft.  They are all going to break apart.  Set aside to cool.  If you would like more raspberry pieces, just do what I did and quarter a few and fold them into the mixture after it is completely cool.

I kept the seeds in my filling but I imagine if you did not want them you could press the mixture through a fine metal sieve.

Use to fill any cake or cupcake (or doughnut?) with raspberry goodness.

Sundays with Joy/Texas Sheet Cake

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Texas Sheet Cake via NerdyBakerGrrr, I can’t bring myself to write this post.  It’s not the sheet cake, don’t worry.  It’s just that after two very hectic weeks, I am in the middle of what I consider only our second week of summer vacation and I am just trying to hang on to it.  Sure, camping was vacation but anything you have to prep and clean that much for takes some of the fun out of it.  I’ve been having fun these last two weeks alternately doing nothing and then deep cleaning corners of my house that have desperately been needing it.  I also decided three weeks ago that the most fun and rewarding thing for me to do over the summer (besides catch up on some sewing, which has been going well but there is still more) is to reorganize my craft closet.  I spent way too much time looking for stuff in there over recital and it is hampering my ability to catch up on projects.  I think that putting some blog props away in there would be a good idea too.  The two shelves that the stuff currently occupies is getting awfully cramped.

Texas Sheet Cake pouring

Pouring…

I also now realize what a crippling thing procrastination is.  I will put off lots of other things if I have a more pressing deadline.  But if I push back on a deadline it’s hard for me at that point to reprioritize and move on from there.  It just makes me push everything back and nothing gets done.   Procrastination was fine for papers in high school and even college but running a household?  Not so much.  And even though this is my blog and I’ve been “late” before, being two weeks behind for Sundays with Joy was just not something I wanted to do.  So I had to get it done.  Plus, we have ice cream coming up this week!  I bought a small ice cream maker for this summer so even though I may have to churn in batches at least I won’t be hand cranking a child’s toy like last year.

So in an effort to look forward, here is my cake from last week.  Can you believe I’d never made a Texas Sheet Cake before?  What the heck was I waiting for?  Super easy to whip up.  If you have just one hour’s notice before company comes you can have a from scratch cake baked, frosted, and cooling for them when they arrive.  It is no diet cake mind you.  There are reasons it is such a crowd pleaser.  My only issue was that the sheet pan I used was crooked and I didn’t realize it till after the cake was baked.  I had some very thin pieces but most of it was perfect.  If you’d like the recipe please buy Joy the Baker Cookbook: 100 Simple and Comforting Recipes.

See?  Crooked.

See? Crooked.

My Geekylink for this week is aliens!  Well, no, not really but anytime anything like this happens I get all goosebumpy.  Also, if you have any alphabet learners out there, you might wanna check out my latest iGameMom review that posted just the other day.  Also, my friend Alyssa has embarked on the most awesome business adventure.  So if you are into some of the stuff that I talk about in this section and you like nail polish, I’d advise you to check out Frakker Lacquer!

TexasSheetCake via NerdyBaker

Hunger Games Party

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I saw an invitation online and I just made my own version of it using some clip art and a Hunger Games font.

It begins with an invitation…
I made my own version of an invitation I saw online using some clip art and a Hunger Games font.

There are birthday parties and there are birthday parties.  I tend to go over board with each but if I have a theme and I want to incorporate food into that theme well, watch out, momma is going to be out of commission for awhile because she is going to be crafting and baking up a storm for a few weeks.  And so it was with my oldest and her Hunger Games themed 10th birthday (and promotion, since her birthday fell so close to the end of her school year and now she’ll be off to middle school).  Also, this party was going to be big because we would be including friends as well as family.

As per usual, it all begins with a Pinterest board.  This allows me to have a place to compile overall party ideas, decoration ideas, game ideas, food ideas.  Then I have to decide between what I want to pull off as opposed to what I can pull off.  Lists help me accomplish all of this, crossing off and adding and crossing off and adding some more till I get a halfway concise idea of what is going to happen for the party.

The most effective yet simplest craft EVER!

The most effective yet simplest craft EVER!

So it began that I decided to make the food for the party so as to have it more in the spirit of the book.  I figured that I would find some crock pot friendly recipes suited to my needs.  I also knew that I would be making TONS of bread so I needed recipes that I could freeze well either before or after baking.  I found two great ones!  One I adapted a few different ways to make “different” loaves (white whole wheat, white, mixed flours and one with wheat bran sprinkled on top).  I’ll post it soon.  I make it often but I wanted to get it down and messing with all these variations helped me with that.  The other I follow just as directed because it is spectacular and may be a new candidate for Justin’s Sandwich Rolls!  I also made these because it came with three variations on the same dough and the dough kept for four days in the refrigerator.  I wanted lots of different ones because bread (including various breads from all the districts) features prominently in the book.  The make ahead dough and breads really made the whole thing I was going for possible.  I served the sliced french bread with goat cheese mixed with basil, goat cheese with sliced apples, and butter for my appetizers.  I also put out the different refrigerator rolls.

HungerGamesPartyFor dinner, we had shredded beef with rolls and Beef Stew over brown rice or homemade mashed potatoes.  We had “Berry Mush” (vanilla berries, recipe soon!) and a green salad as well.  Most of the ideas for the food I got from Fictional Food.  Some I wanted to make like the goat cheese and apple tarts but I didn’t have time and others I wanted to put out like the hot chocolate and bread for dipping (seriously some Mexican hot chocolate and pan dulce is PERFECT for that, right?) but it was a very hot day.  I did make some Mellark’s Bakery Cookies but added some spice to them because in my mind the overall ingredients in District 12 would be subpar but a little bit of spice would hide it.  I would have included the recipe in this post but of course I forgot to take pictures of them.  I changed the whole wheat flour to 2 cups and the all purpose to 1 1/2 cups.  Then I added 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and 3/4 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice (mostly just because I couldn’t find my nutmeg, otherwise I’d have blended a mix of my own).  I really liked them.  They came out like a lightly spiced version of a spice cookie.

Now, the cake.  My daughter was VERY specific about the cake she wanted.  I never really knew she was a fan of my whipped cream frosted cakes but recently we had one with banana in the filling as opposed to strawberries.  I guess she liked it because, even knowing her theme and realizing that her poor momma would have to try and “tie it in” to everything she picked a whipped cream cake with strawberries and bananas in the filling.  So what I came up with was to try and use banana and strawberry garnish to evoke fire or flames in some sort of way to tie it all together.  I even added a few buttercream “flames” that I used on the cupcakes I made.  Those were inspired by Erica’s Sweet Tooth Hunger Games cupcakes.

HungerGamesCakeOnto the games, well we didn’t exactly have a reaping.  It was more of a raffle with their name entered once for being there and once for every game played.  I hung a small hula hoop that they tried to throw foam “spears” into and later slingshot some water smoosh balls into.  We also did a water balloon toss since it was so hot.  The games I sort of winged it on because I was mainly focused on the food.  I just bought a bunch of stuff I thought I’d be able to use and it worked out pretty well.  The winner of the “reaping” won two prizes that were left over and one of two bow and arrow sets.  The next winner was my daughter who won the other set.  I had also bought six silly string cans and gave three to the runners up of the other games and then picked three more names for the other silly string cans.  The kids liked those parts the best I think, when we let them loose with the silly string and the rest of the water balloons.

HungerGamesPinata

My uncle picks up our pinatas for parties and I might have mentioned that if he found a mockingjay pinata that he’d be “the best uncle ever” so he and my aunt customized this one for us.
Pic courtesy of my dad.

One site suggested a Capitol Makeup table.  I went one step further and set up Capitol Fashions.  I used every useable (and takeable) piece of dressup paraphenalia that we had and also bought a few more masks, funky glassses, some mustaches, hats and new dollar store makeup and let the kids go to town.  Another site had a Sponsor Gift table idea that I liked as a favor table and I just put out simple cheap stuff that might be usable in the games like band-aids, tissue, braid-holders, trail mix, compass rings, and some homemade bookmarks along with the Mellark bakery cookies.  Both tables were near each other and that was helpful since I wanted our guests to take home gifts from both.

HungerGamesTables

Our Sponsor Gift table and Capitol Fashions table. Pics courtesy of my dad.

As for GeekyLinks, I am all linked out.  I’ve spent two weeks in a Hunger Games birthday party haze and I need a rest.  However, if you have any questions about anything I made for the party that I didn’t directly link to, please ask.  Most of it should be on the Pinterest board though.

 

 

My Favorite Party Buttercream

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PartyButtercreamBaseballs

Baseballs for my nephew’s 12th birthday.

I know, it’s been some time since you’ve had anything new from me but this is one that I’ve been working on for awhile now, ever since my Tardis Cupcakes. Since then, I’ve had a few opportunities to make massive amounts of cupcakes and of course since we’re appealing to the masses for parties we go buttercream and since we are trying to do cute decorative things for various party purposes we go vanilla buttercream.
Let me just put this out there, while I really like the idea of a pure butter buttercream the truth is it really only tastes like sugar and butter. The texture can bug me too sometimes.  So, here goes…(dun dun duh!)

Favorite Party Buttercream Soccer Cupcakes via NerdyBaker.wordpress.com

Soccer balls for my husband (coach) and daughter’s end of the spring season party.

I add in a bit of shortening.  It changes the flavor just a bit and the texture too.  It makes the frosting easier to work with.  When added to a traditional recipe for buttercream it adds a little more volume which allows for the little extra you might need when trying to go for that “professional” look without having buttloads left over.  I needed the extra volume for these two particular cupcakes because I was going for a ball effect.  Going for the look without adding too much extra frosting (I really HATE too much frosting and overall prefer a ratio of 1/3 frosting to 2/3 cupcake) requires a cupcake that bakes up into a nice dome.  For the baseballs I made Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes from Glorious Treats and for the soccer balls I made Simple Vanilla Cupcakes from the Joy the Baker Cookbook.  The “perfect” ones call for buttermilk and have a slightly bigger dome when baked.  The “simple” ones call for vanilla bean and so have a more pronounced vanilla flavor and a lovely dome.  Both are awesome recipes that I will be using again.

Joy's Simple Vanilla Cupcakes destined to become soccer balls.

Joy’s Simple Vanilla Cupcakes destined to become soccer balls.

So, here is the long and short of it.  I use some salted butter.  Then I add the shortening.  I ALWAYS switch milk to cream because c’mon, it’s a party.  And then I add even a tad more salt.  Now, here’s the thing.  When you make this frosting and are tasting it as you go, you’ll be like, “Eh, it’s alright, nothing special” but once you stick whatever you frosted in the fridge to wait for party time, they transform.  The flavors really come together as it sits and well, it’s my favorite party vanilla buttercream!  If you are eating cupcakes from me topped with vanilla buttercream it is going to be this one.  This has been a real labor of love for me since it will be a real family recipe, one that will be used for our parties for years to come.  When you come across those recipes, those are the ones you treasure.  I hope it was worth the wait for all of you.

They look like a hit!

They look like a hit!

My Geekylink is just that I hope I get to see Star Trek Into Darkness at some point this weekend.  The Doctor Who‘s season ender is also this weekend.  Those lovely worlds will meld for me on Monday when the new Traveling the Vortex is released because they will be covering the finale and the Star Trek: The Next Generation/Doctor Who: Assimilation2 crossover comic books.  I have them but haven’t yet read them.  Thanks to those guys for giving me the kick in the butt to read them before then.  My daughter heard they’d be covering them and she said she wanted to read them too.  I told her no because I want her to watch a few episodes of Star Trek:TNG first and she said OK.  I’ve been waiting almost 10 years to hear that from her.  I’ll be looking for a good Netflix night for us to get started…eek!

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Sundays with Joy/Mini Chamomile Cakes with Honey Frosting

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ChamomileCupcakes2-NerdyBaker.wordpress.com

These cupcakes were, as most things Joy makes are, quite lovely. Just the cutest, prettiest cakes packed with flavor and yet so dainty. I took care of that whole dainty thing with the way I ate them. They had to be unwrapped at least halfway and bitten into such that I got a mouthful of cake and icing. That method ensured that the cupcake was gone in about three bites and virtually inhaled, VERY daintily of course.

I took so long to get these to you because I ended up making them twice. I baked this weekend for a family party on Sunday. I made these right after I baked for the party on Saturday. Then when I came back to these on Monday to frost them, they just kinda looked sad. I hadn’t covered them or anything so it was just as well. So I remade them fully knowing it was gonna take me awhile longer to get them to you, but who wants to see sad cupcakes?

ChamomileCupcakes1--NerdyBaker.wordpress.com

I was a big fan of this frosting in particular. You can taste the honey but it was not too much. Also, when I remade these I used two tablespoons less sugar in the cake batter. It just seemed the right adjustment after seeing how the first batch came out. Another thing about this post is that it finally features more pics with my husband’s camera (that I’ve been trying to learn) as opposed to my iPhone (that I’ve had to resort to). I was really pleased with them. They’re not perfect yet but at least it’s a start. Don’t forget, if you’re interested in the recipe buy Joy’s cookbook and check out the rest of our group’s efforts over at Bakeaholic Mama. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, our little group is one year old this week!

So many GeekyLinks lately that I had to pick and choose. The first mixes Doctor Who and musicals, “Doctor Who” Star Arthur Darvil Will Make Music in Broadway’s Once. I am a super huge fan of that movie. Its such a romantic story, and with one of my TV crushes in it?! However, it’s on the wrong coast for me. I hope I can somehow get a glimpse or two of him in the show. OK, wanna know what happens when you wring out a wet cloth in space? I had a good guess, I thought, but I was totally wrong and it is totally cool.

ChamomileCupckakes --NerdyBaker.wordpress.com

WonderCon, Easter, and Birthdays (My Spring Break)

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Only a portion of the entire haul, we are missing a couple of Creeper pins, another Minecraft pickave pin, and a Naan Cat pin, and Rainbow Dash figure and all the other stuff my nephews got.

Only a portion of the entire haul, we are missing a couple of Creeper pins, another Minecraft pickave pin, a Nyan Cat pin, a Wii U Bag, a Rainbow Dash thingy and all the stuff my nephews got.

For any of you that didn’t know, the nerd/geek community apparently really SUCKS at planning things. Otherwise WonderCon would not have been the weekend of Easter and TableTop Day would not have been the day before Easter. Luckily for me, WonderCon started on a Friday and I was able to participate and still do the mom/family stuff the rest of the weekend. If it wasn’t Easter weekend, I would have totally ditched my little ones and run to this place that was hosting TableTop Day games that was super close to my aunt’s bar & grill. I could have eaten a nice lunch and then gone and played board games. It would’ve been a great day. It still was, we did some fun family stuff and I was able get home early and bake for Sunday. O well, maybe next year…

Wondercon2

 

Onto WonderCon

 

A Harley Quinn, some Wreck-It-Ralphers, Guardians, and a hot Wolverine.

A Harley Quinn, some Wreck-It-Ralphers, Guardians, and a Wolverine.

Last year, the first year it moved to Anaheim, I totally regretted not going even though it was pouring torrential rain that weekend. After we parked and walked as far as we did to get into the venue, I don’t regret it as much. Because of Easter, I wasn’t even sure I was going to go. Just so much going on, lack of money, blah, blah, blah. But I had already mentioned it to my nephews, my niece got to go Gallifrey One, my husband has been on this “its just money/life’s too short” kick, and two days before Easter I am NOT baking and am out of town for the entire day. I had a blast.

I helped Captain America zip up in the ladies room.  Her back "shield" is a purse.  That little Iron man was PERFECT.

I helped Captain America zip up in the ladies room. Her back “shield” is a purse. That little Iron man was PERFECT.

The programming was a bit light because well, it wasn’t a Saturday, but we still made it to a Geek and Sundry panel. We tried to get into a Regular Show panel but apparently that was the same room they were going to preview the season premiere of Doctor Who and so was longest line EVER and we couldn’t get in. I was bummed for the kids because they really wanted to see that one. So even though there wasn’t much programming for our group, who doesn’t LOVE the convention floor? Super crowded at times but mostly fine, we navigated most of it really well. I was able to hold the kids off on buying stuff till we actually saw most things and then we went back and bought. They all bought posters (our group bought Modern Warfare III, Adventure Time, and Regular Show) and some pins. I had been bugging Angela about a poster since Gallifrey One. She didn’t get why till we got home from Gally and I pointed out her many years old High School Musical 3 poster behind her door. Since then she had been on the lookout for a new poster. I bought pins and a Walking Dead trade paperback for my sister/me. I spent the bulk of my money on bows, seriously. Ponies, Hunger Games, and Adventure Time hairbows for my girls. One vendor, who didn’t sell online, had some great deals so I just HAD to get them.

Felicia Day, John Saxon, Noel Gugliemi, my nephew and Lou Ferigno,

Felicia Day, John Saxon, Noel Gugliemi, my nephew and Lou Ferrigno,

There was NO Fringe love AT ALL. I was SO bummed. The lady who we bought our pins from said she might help me out with that but I haven’t contacted her yet. I mean, for a series with so many iconic images and phrases (the glyphs, Red Vines, a white tulip, the RedVerse Fringe division logo, a frickin Fedora for goodness sake!) there was nothing. And it JUST ended! Did I mention that she made zipper pulls and bracelets as well from her pins? Yeah, I also bought my Sarah a My Little Pony bracelet for her birthday and zipper pulls for Sarah and Robert as well. A Fringe bracelet and zipper pull for momma sounds just dandy.

The kids and some stormtroopers and Angela inside a Tardis tent.

The kids and some stormtroopers and Angela inside a Tardis tent.

The kids loved looking at the cosplay until Angela realized that she had a Hermione costume she could/should have worn. Then she was just bummed. We got some free Wii U bags for trying games, lanyards and pins from the Geek and Sundry panel, and a paper ship from Oblivion (oh yeah, the full size ship was there too) and I think that is about it for the free. Not bad for showing up, walking around, and having a good time.

The coolest WORKING tardis console EVER!  I should have taken video.

The coolest WORKING tardis console EVER! I should have taken video.

Easter and Birthdays…

I would make this a whole separate post but I didn’t take any pictures of my Easter goodies. A whole post about goodies without pictures is just mean so I’ll just have to tell you what I made. For our Saturday celebration, I just made some Joy the Baker Cookbook’s Simple Vanilla Cupcakes and Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies. I love those cookies. I added some festive M&Ms and that was it, Easter cookies.

I took the rest of the cookies over for Sunday. I made the same shortbread cookies I made last year and I brought over some Apple Fritter Cake for brunch.

The week after Easter was our big party for Justin and Sarah. I remade Joy’s Simple Vanilla Cupcakes with the Best Chocolate Buttercream (what Sarah wanted) and even though Justin said he didn’t want anything, I knew exactly what to make him. And yep, he finished what was left over the next few days.

SpringBreak

See, I told you I could do the ganache right.

Oh yeah, Geekylink? There are only days left to preregister for Equestria LA. I don’t know if I’m going. I hope since its Mother’s Day weekend my husband wouldn’t mind us maybe going to our THIRD convention this year?! I am not really a My Little Pony fan myself but my girls are huge ones. I’m just not sure we can make it that weekend (Mother’s Day weekend? Again with the bad planning?). We’ll see…

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