5 Fandom Friday

Smart Phone Apps I Couldn’t Live Without

Today’s topic proposed by The Nerdie Girlie and Super Space Chick are 5 apps that you couldn’t live without. I’m altering a little reflect some of my favorite ones that I don’t want to live without as well as some I reluctantly can’t live without! Personally I miss not being as reliant on my phone. But it is what it is and at this point it’s a little hard to turn back. So there are the ones I love and rely on in my day to day life.

#1: Pinterest

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I loooove Pinterest. If you follow me, you’ll know just how much I love it!! (Spoiler alert: I love it a lot) And the Pinterest phone app let’s me pin stuff from anywhere at anytime and I just love that!! If you watch the BBC’s Sherlock, then you’d know what a mind palace is. And I like to think of Pinterest as my own personal mind palace. When I was in college studying fashion design, we used to make inspiration boards all the time. And I used to have boxes of magazine clippings for those boards. So I feel like I’ve been pinning things since long before Pinterest came around. And finally technology and my brain are in perfect sync. Pinterest is where I think, it’s where I dream, it’s where the magic happens!!

 

#2: Instagram

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I really like that we are living in an age of self documentation. I have such a terrible memory. There are so many holes in my memories of growing up. And it’s cool to know that I’ll be able to look back through Instagram at the moments I felt were worthy of documentation (like Thursday’s lunch and my feet in the sand.)
And personally my face looks much better with a nice Amaro or X-Pro II filter over it. Making those moments not only memorable, but really pretty too.
I only wish that Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn and other classic movie stars were still alive because I imagine their Insta feeds would be legendary!!

 

#3: Spotify

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Music really is the food of life. It can instantly change your mood or reflect it. It can be uplifting. It can tell a story. It can bring people together. And Spotify allows you access to most of your favorite artists (minus Tay Swift, of course.) For a modest subscription fee you have the ability to make playlists and listen to your favorite tunes.

 

#4: My Fitness Pal

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Listen… fitness is important. I genuinely enjoy working out. But as the winter approaches, so does a season of eating warm comfort foods like the ones on last week’s 5 Fandom Friday list – Click Here. As well as holiday treats like Granny’s apple pie and Uncle Lint’s garlic mashed potatoes. So I tend to need a little extra help with my fitness around this time. Enter My Fitness Pal. It’s an excellent app that tracks your food intake, nutrition stats and exercise. It gives you tips on whether or not you’re getting enough fiber or too much sugar and it projects your progress each day. It definitely helps keep me from gaining 3,000 pounds during the holidays!

 

#5: Google Maps

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This one is a reluctant choice. It’s not so much a favorite app as much as it’s an app I genuinely believe I couldn’t live without. And I actually love physical real-life maps. But a couple times a week I find myself wishing for a simpler time. I wonder how we all functioned before technology started to rule our lives. I honestly don’t know anymore. Sadly we now live in a time of reliance instead of resilience. I used to much more self reliant. Like I could figure anything out. And these days without technology I tend to feel a little lost. Like I’m not sure I can find my way without my Google Map. Hopefully when the zombie apocalypse hits, we’ll find out we’re all stronger than we think we are! In a zombie apocalypse there is no time for reliance.

5 Fandom Friday

Comfort Foods

As Thanksgiving approaches, BEFORE Christmas (ahem, ahem retailers), our minds start to turn to scrumptious, homemade, comforting foods. Turkey and stuffing and pie and potatoes. In  honor of the approaching holiday The Nerdy Girlie and Super Space Chick‘s 5 Fandom Friday topic today is favorite comfort foods. So here are mine…

1. Homemade Cookie Dough

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Why wait for the cookies to bake when you can put that dough in the freezer and eat it systematically over the course of the season. My Aunt Dot’s recipe was always my go-to for the best cookies and the bestest cookie dough around. But if you need some in a pinch and don’t have time for all the baking that comes along with getting homemade cookie dough, then Tollhouse or Pillsbury will do in a pinch. There are even websites that will send you tubs of flavored cookie dough. Check out David’s Cookies.

2. Macaroni and Cheese

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Photo Credit: Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

This one is a given. And as a child I used to love good old Kraft mac and cheese from a box. Then I graduated to the Velveeta shells and cheese. But these days, when I have a craving for macaroni and cheese, I turn to Annie’s Homegrown for their White Cheddar mac and cheese. They have many different flavors of delicious mac and cheese. And you can feel a little better about eating it because the ingredients are organic. Though I don’t recommend eating a whole box (but who are we kidding… I could definitely eat the whole box!!)

3. Popcorn

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When I was a kid, one of my favorite things to do with my family was pile on the couch and watch a movie together (back when people still did that.) We’d pick out the movie, get our bowls of popcorn ready and then proceed to have family night. So nowadays when I eat popcorn, even if just for a snack, it always reminds me of times watching Star Wars or Jurassic Park or Indiana Jones with my mom, dad and brother.

4. Spaghetti

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I don’t wanna brag, but my mom’s spaghetti is amazing!!! She used to cook all kinds of things for us when we were younger, but it’s her spaghetti that stays in my childhood memories. It was that sauce… it’s always about the sauce. And hers was magical. Family dinners, also sadly a thing of the past these days, would often be spaghetti at our house. It’s delicious and easy… nuff said!

5. Bread Dough

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Photo Credit: Blue Sage

My mom may be good at the spaghetti, but my dad is the bread man in the family. He even has his own homemade bread oven that he built in the backyard out of brick and clay. Living far away is not an easy thing, especially since I do not have a bread oven in my New York apartment to recreate his delicious breads. So when I’m home for the holidays, it’s the bread that I make sure to save room for… no matter what!! I will mow people down to get to that bread. (Ok not really. But it’s THAT good!)

 

What foods are comforting to you? I’d love to hear about it and Happy Friday!!!

5 Fandom Friday

Super Space Chick and The Nerdy Girlie have issued a blog challenge. Post a top 5 within the preset topic chosen each Friday. This week’s topic is “Characters I Would Love To Dress Up As For Halloween.” Instead of doing the 5 costumes I want to dress up as this year, I’m going to do 5 costumes I have attempted in the past.

I looooove Halloween! It’s such a fun holiday. When we were kids, my brother, my cousin and I would get all dressed up, sometimes with a costume theme in mind, and go out trick or treating all night. And we lived in the kind of neighborhood that gave out homemade cookies and whole candy bars. It was pretty much the best thing ever! Once we got our haul we would come back to our house, dump our loot on the floor and proceed to play the trade game. You know… 3 Snickers for a bag of Skittles. 5 Tootsie Rolls for a Twix. That kind of thing. Being the oldest, sometimes I could trick the younger ones into thinking the candy I didn’t want was exactly what they needed. Like a Peanut Chew.

Parents… don’t put Peanut Chews in your Halloween bowls this Halloween. They are the pennies of the candy world. No one wants them. Skittles, Twix, 3 Musketeers, Twizzlers. These are what the kids want! Don’t try to be cheap on Halloween and give out Peanut Chews. And don’t even get me started on Nougat! You may as well move if you’re giving out Nougat.

Ok… back to the Top 5!

1. WONDER WOMAN

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Wonder Woman is a favorite of pretty much every girl born before 2000 and a personal favorite of mine. And with all the upcoming projects in DC I’m sure she’ll be appealing to a brand new generation. I was about 8 years old when I dressed up as Wonder Woman and my brother was Superman. We wore these pajamas all the time so it was a cost effect and Super easy costume for Halloween (see what I did there!) If I did this costume now, it would be a much more elaborate recreation, but as an 8 year old… if you can choose between a tight, body constricting costume and your pajamas… you go with the pajamas. Heck, as an adult if you can choose between a tight, body constricting costume and your pajamas…you just can’t go wrong with pajamas on Halloween (as long as it isn’t “pajama” lingerie. That’s a no go!)

2. PRINCESS LEIA

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This is another one with mass appeal. Princess Leia, circa A New Hope is the easiest of the Leia costumes to replicate. White dress, hair in buns, a good blaster at your side and your done! As I mentioned my brother, my cousin and I greatly enjoyed dressing up in a group. One year we were Tinkerbell, Captain Hook and Tiger Lily. This particular year we were Princess Leia, Han Solo and Wicket W. Warrick (if that name doesn’t sound familiar to you then I question your Star Wars knowledge!!) And it is still one of my very favorite family Halloween’s. I haven’t dressed up as Leia as an adult yet, maybe because that year was so good I don’t want to taint it, but I did do Leia buns for my 30 Days of Nerdy Hair blog series and my buns have gotten way better if I do say so myself!!

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3. “SEXY” CATWOMAN

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I could have sworn that all photographic evidence of this disaster had been destroyed, but alas… there is proof that I gave this “sexy” thing a try and failed hard. (Sorta glad I didn’t achieve “sexy” status. It’s not really my thing!) I cannot stand “sexy” Halloween costumes. They lack creativity as well as material over vital body parts. They’re obvious and cheaply made and fly in the face of hard working cosplayers the world over. That being said…back in college I was highly susceptible to peer influences and pressures. And I attempted to create a “sexy” costume one year. (Hey… all the cool kids were doing it.)For more on this geek tragedy check back on Oct. 28th for a special Halloween episode of my web series, So… This Happened in which I talk about that poorly attempted “sexy” costume. In the meantime, check out the rest of the series in anticipation. Click HERE.

4. CALIFORNIA MOUNTAIN SNAKE

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This costume is another easy one to do. And while you may not get the mass recognition of Black Mamba’s tell tale yellow suit, when you do get recognized it will be by true fans of the Kill Bill movies. And it ends up being so much more satisfying. Make sure not to carry a real Katana around, that can get you into serious trouble. And if you don’t have the fighting skills of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad, do you really need a real Katana anyways?

5. Buffy Summers

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This is my favorite Halloween costume I’ve done as an adult. This is a great one to do with friends especially if you have a token redhead in your life. Also fairly easy (I’m all about easy!) Plus taking this costume on the road and trying it on location (ie. a dark and stormy night in Astoria Park) is a fun way to immerse yourself in your chosen Halloween persona. And who better to portray than the butt kicking, vamp dusting, blond haired bad ass herself, the Buffster! (Willow sold separately.)

As you can see the older I get the better my costumes get. By the time I’m 40 (Yikes that’s less than 9 years away) my costumes will be so good I’ll look like I stepped right off the Paramount Lot!

Happy early Halloween. I can’t wait to see everyone’s costumes. Make sure to send pictures and check back for more Halloween goodness later on!