Category Archives: NERDINESS

FOOD + WINE FESTIVAL – DISNEY CALIFORNIA ADVENTURE 2017

FANGIRL FRIDAY Header

Hi Everyone! Just a quick note before we dive into the Food + Wine gloriousness… I am bringing a new series to the blog called (drum roll) Fangirl Friday! For a long time I took part in the 5 Fandom Friday blog link up and have missed my weekly dose of nerdy fun. So now each Friday I will share a small dose of nerdy fangirl fun with you from my life. This will be everything from Disney, Star Wars, Marvel, Cons and theme parks! Hope you enjoy!


So this weekend we celebrated my mom’s birthday and her main request was to visit Disney California Adventure’s Food and Wine Festival! So last Saturday we headed down to the Disneyland Resort to celebrate and enjoy some great food!

DCA FOOD and WINE Header

This is the second year since the return of DCA’s Food and Wine Festival. I have to say they have learned a lot from the first year really improved the festival. You can read about last years here! The theme is food and wine from California… Last year we took a trip through the state and this year we visited different produce and foods native to the golden state.

FOOD CHOICES

With 11 booths this year we got to taste a lot of very delicious and unique food. My favorite alcoholic drink was Meyer Lemon Ginger Mule from the “Lemon Grove” stand. Food wise I love the Wagyu Beef and Creamy Polenta from the “Onion Lair” booth and if you are very adventures you have to try the Garlic-Rosemary and Avocado Oil Ice Cream Pop… This was so unique and delicious but not for everyone.

Mal at Food and Wine v2

This year I decided to get the Annual Passholder exclusive Sip + Savor pass which gives you a discounted rate to get food and non-alcoholic drinks from the various stands. If you want get the Sip + Savor pass too make sure you use your coupon tabs for foods over $5.60 to get the best value! They did change this from last year so it is a better value – but I would suggest start with one for your group or know you are coming multiple times to use all the tabs! I still have lots of tabs leftover… Good thing I am going back!

Sip and Savor AP Pass

You can also grab a tasting passsport to have a bit of fun… You collect a different stamp at each location! This passport also lists all the available food at each booth. You can track what you have tried how you liked them. This is also an easy way to find out gluten free and vegetarian information.

The 2017 Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival runs from March 10 to April 16th. Let me know what you would want to try in the comments!

Infinity Gauntlet Challenge 2016 Race Recap

If you follow me on social media you might have been a little surprised to see me run 19.3 miles during the runDisney’s Super Hero Half Marathon Weekend. Well a last minute opportunity popped up for me to go out and run… not one race but two – so I dove right in and said sure why not!

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My mom was already in town to see Hedwig and the Angry Inch at the Pantages so we rallied and booked probably the last available hotel room in Anaheim for our weekend at Disneyland. See I can totally be spontaneous – (put that on my dating profile).

After the craziness of working 15 days straight I got to escape work a little early on the Friday before the race. We picked up Juli form downtown LA and made out way down to Anaheim pretty early on Friday. Per our usual routine we headed straight to the Expo. We got our bibs and then walked around some. This expo was a little lack luster compared to the Disneyland Half expo (which restored my faith in expos). We did stop for our race expo drink – it’s totally tradition now!
The themed drink for this race weekend was the Dr. Strange’s Elixir with Red Ruby Absolute Vodka, sweet & sour, blue curacao and Sprite.

We had a quick dinner at Tangaroa Terrace before going to our respective hotels and getting ready for the Dr Strange 10K. I have to recommend Tangeroa if you ever find yourself at Disneyland needed to carbload and short on time – we got an amazing meal that was quick and cost efficient.

Dr. Strange 10K

jessica-jones avengers half

Since this race was pretty much as short notice as it gets I didn’t have a lot of time to put together a race costume… but I wanted to have some fun. I completely adore the Netflix original Jessica Jones and as a Marvel babe I decided to dress as the most kick ass lady round. I found some “jeggings” from Target that weren’t completely see though and a scarf from H&M. I had a water bottle in a paper sack to look like a beer but sadly I don’t think people quite got it.

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I really enjoyed the 10K – it seemed like it was the same course as Disneyland which made you run 2 miles before any character photos… great for those who run. It did seem like the runDisney team might of made some timing errors because I was in line to get my photo with Dr Strange, well above the required 16min mile pace and they told us the balloon ladies would be there in 6 minutes… so I had to bale out of that line and run on to the finish. Not a big deal though by any means but I was more ahead of pace than that, even with stopping for characters!

For the 10K I ran my usual 45 secs run to 30 secs walk and did not take any fuel during this race. I did carry a pack of Sports Beans but felt fine and did not need to use them.

Festival of Holidays

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After a shower and quick trip to Target (because I only packed one pair of socks) we went to California Adventure to have lunch at the Festival of Holidays booths. Its like a mini Food and Wine Festival celebrating the different foods of the Holiday season. My favorites were the Nosh and Nibbles and Abuelita’s Kitchen! This strangely reflects my life – white, blonde, protestant girl with an affinity for matzo ball soup and tamales.

After killing time celebrating all things Christmas in DCA we met up for our super early dinner reservation at Wine Country Trattoria – our favorite place to carb load. With the sun going down early we were all ready to turn in pretty early.

Avengers Half Marathon

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It was an early morning for the half… I woke up at 3:45am to get to the shuttle and the start. I am not going to lie I was a bit nervous about running the half. I have been training for Light Side (in January) not a challenge in November…but my mother reminded me that I have run halfs on way less training. So I decided that I would just go with and see how I felt. For this race I decided to not worry about a costume and just rocked my new 501st SoCal Garrison tank and my favorite red Sparkle Athletic skirt with Mudbuster shorts underneath.

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It actually went surprisingly well! I started with my usual 45:30 intervals and figured I would adjust as needed. The only adjustments I did were in between character stops I just started running on whatever interval I was on. Once we got out of the parks I felt surprisingly strong. After we got out of Angels stadium I knew this was going well. Mile 9 and 10 came so quickly that I knew I was finishing this challenge strong.

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Mile 11 came time for some Hamilton and a cruz to the finish! Any one else rocking “My Shot” in their playlist?

Like I said we were done before I knew it! I was surprised and pleased with my performance… guess my training has paid off and I am even more pumped for Star Wars in January!

Post Race Brunch

During the Expo we saw that Steakhouse 55 was having extended brunch hours for race weekend. Since we did not have a lot of planning time we did not make dining reservations but were able to snag a table here. Can I say (although maybe I shouldn’t) this is the best kept secret at Disneyland!?!

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Seriously and amazing brunch at an excellent price. They had some specials since it was a race weekend and we enjoyed mimosas to celebrate. I will be a repeat customer and highly recommend this for the next time you need a post race brunch option.

After a few castle pics and watching the Christmas parade we called it a day and headed back to LA but this was an amazing and EPIC Super Hero Half Weekend! Next up Star Wars!!

 

CELEBRATING HALLOWEEN

As many of my long time readers know Halloween is my favorite time of year – but this year I have been so busy I feel like I haven’t really soaked it in… So we are changing that! We are going to FULL BLOWN HALLOWEEN MODE! We have a week left to enjoy all we can – lets do this!

To start my celebration of the season, I decorated my entry way to scare up some classy & spooky decor. I like to pick things that fit into my existing home decor so my entry way is focused on silvers and golds. Plus trying to look like some awesome witches live here with my potion bottle.

halloween-decor

You should all know that I am doing the Tone It Up 31 Day Challenge. The thing I love about Karena and Katrina is they understand that I want to eat all the pumpkin things. They had a great Pumpkin Spice Donut recipe so I had to whip some up!

Tone It Up Pumpkin Spice Donuts

On Saturday my mom and I went to Disneyland to soak in all the Halloween spirit. We rode Ghost Galaxy (aka Space Mountain Halloween Style) and Nightmare Before Christmas’s Haunted Mansion takeover! We had lunch at the new Carthay Lounge’s Autumn menu – which was totally amazing.

Haunted Mansion Holiday

For the rest of the week I will be watching my favorite Halloween movies and getting ready for Stan Lee’s Comic Con on Sunday!

How are you celebrating the last week to Halloween?

YOUR LAST MINUTE SDCC PREP GUIDE

BWB-Comic-Con-Prep-Header1-1024x206Hey Brunch Babes (and boys)! It’s FRIDAY!! More than that it’s the last FRIDAY before Comic Con!! TGIF!! Having enough Cons under my belt I have sort of gotten lazy with all my prep. I still make my schedule for panel and events, but other than that I am a bit behind. Are you like me?

Well instead of freaking out – here is my last minute plan for how to prep for SDCC! Here is what I am thinking about this weekend to get ready for next week!

WHAT ARE YOU ACTUALLY DOING AT SDCC
Good news – you haven’t missed anything yet… unless you wanted to go to the 501st Party… The full SDCC schedule is up and waiting for you. Take a half hour to really look at what you would like to accomplish.

Sample SDCC Schedule

I develop my schedule 2 ways… I start with my full wish list. I put it all in an excel spread sheet, then I highlight my really try for, and finally go with a plan b option as well.

KNOWING WHAT YOU ARE GOING TO WEAR
Don’t just start your packing list… start packing!

Following my spread sheet I write down everything I will need outfits for… things like “Full Con Day”, “501st Bash”, and “Geek Girl Brunch Happy Hour”. From their I can decide what I need to wear and pack it all up accordingly.

SDCC Outfit planning

 

 

Word to the wise bring at least one full extra outfit, pack a swimsuit, and always bring an extra pair of tried and true shoes. Bad shoes will kill a Con faster than anything else.

Got your outfit list together? Good! You still have the weekend if you need to run to Target or Hot Topic for a final accessory or if you are me to pick up some white sneakers.

PACK YOUR PACK
What is going with you to the Con everyday is your lifeline! There are numerous articles written on this but it boils down to a few essentials: Hydration, Fuel, Hygiene, and Power.

SDCC 16 PAck

 

 

My pack is a black small backpack and my friend Chris uses the Think Geek Con Survival Bag. We both always have hand sanitizer, portable batteries for our phones, and charging cables. My pack includes Wet Wipes, a water bottle, make up for touch ups, and my blog business cards. Oh and some snacks – always have snacks!

COSPLAY?
Cosplay is a choice… even now in the height of costuming you can still have an awesome experience at SDCC without a costume! The one thing I actually did do was finish a new costume for SDCC – stay tuned!! If you are cosplaying be sure to check everything a few times. Make sure your have safety pins, extra velcro, bobby pins – you know EVERYTHING you will need!

501st Shoot - Con Woman Photography

Want to watch me prep for SDCC – head over to my SnapChat where all weekend I will be covering my SDCC Prep!!

SNAPCHAT

SDCC PRE-PREP

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Hey Brunchers! So I am a little late on starting this years SDCC Prep but honestly I have written so much on the prep for SDCC over the years.

Last year I wrote my ultimate SDCC prep post and shared my favorite apps for SDCC!

Something I haven’t written on before it what you need to do before the Con – which does not involve packing… do your research and sign up for stuff. Ok well consider me doing your research for you!

NERD HQ
Most SDCC Vets will share a love on Nerd HQ! Its a great place to explore “outside the con” and has some pretty epic dance parties. Be sure to register before you go here! This year you can even reserve game play opportunities in advance! Last year we got to test out Star Wars Battlefront early! Also stellar are the Conversations for A Cause which bring panels to you with tickets! No waiting in line, but getting those tickets are not easy.

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Nerd HQ will be back at the New Children’s Museum this year!

ADULT SWIM ON THE GREEN
Another favorite of mine! Adult Swim On the Green is a free “carnival” themed with all your favorite [adult swim] shows and is located behind the convention center. They ask you to RSVP here – you will still have to wait in line (but a shorter one). Sometimes I wonder if I should even share this stuff…

NERD OUT

Nerd Out App
Seriously if you need to know where to go for all the fun at Comic Con get the Nerd Out App on your phone! Awesome events including probably the biggest database of Cosplay Meet Ups are all on the app. To see the SDCC activity download the app and go to Calendar > California > San Diego. Then you can hit the drop down at the top and selection Conventions. From there you can view all the events happening during San Diego Comic Con! You will be glad you did!

I will be coming out with more unique prep posts as I think of them (it’s getting real over here) but if you want to relive the glory days of SDCC 2015 you can read last years re-caps below:

Day 1 – Wednesday Night Parties and Nerdist Conival
Day 2 – Nerd HQ Daytime Fun
Day 3 – Fear the Walking Dead, Star Wars Cantina, and Geek & Sundry Party Time
Day 4 – Last day, wrapping up

Potter Month: Ilvermorny

POTTER MONTH HEADER

Hello brunch babes! I am so excited because it is officially Potter Month and every Friday this month we are talking about our love for Harry Potter leading up to Harry’s birthday and the release of the long awaited follow up story… Cursed Child!

As you may know, I am (in my opinion) the definition of the Harry Potter generation. I grew up with him and his friends… We lived it all together and that was special!

So for our first post I thought I would talk about something new to all of us – Ilvermorny.

Ilvermorny_Crest

Truthfully, I had mixed feelings when I first heard about the American Wizarding School. I mean I am a Slytherin, I feel like I knew Harry, Hermione and Draco… I was not stuck in the America school when our European brother and sister witches were fighting Voldemort… I was there at the Battle of Hogwarts!!

But then J.K. Rowling goes and writes a beautiful story about the schools founding and the new houses inspired by Hogwarts four house system and well… I might be sold.

Why I am an American Witch
First off, I will never not be a Slytherin and I will never forget my adventures at Hogwarts… But if this was real life I would have gone to Ilvermorny. My family actually were settlers in Jamestown – we were here before the Mayflower. Hi there I am #MericaWitch from Ilvermorny (always gonna be Draco’s first ex wife though).

I am a Wampus!

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There is it… I am a Wampus! Another difference between this new telling from our favorite magical world and the stories I grew up with… We did not have Pottermore. It was years after I had read all the books when Pottermore appeared with its final judgement of what house you are in. This time we are learning about the world knowing where we fit in it. These houses are completely different from the Hogwarts houses and no house equals another.
My house, Wampus, is the warrior house that represents the body of a wizard. It is named after the magical Wampus, a panther like creature that is very hard to kill.

So, in short, I am coming to grips with my new school and house and cannot wait to learn more!

For more Harry Potter love read some of my favorite Potter Posts:
The Greatest Lesson’s Dumbledore Taught Me
What’s In Hermione’s Bag

Until next Friday – keep counting down to Cursed Child!

4th of July Captain America Style

The 4th of July is almost here Brunchers! I am so excited to be spending my 4th of July at Walt Disney World… my family does this every other year and it is my favorite place to spend the holiday. Nothing says summer to me like fireworks, sunshine, and theme parks!

You know me… I love to nerd out every chance I can so for the 4th of July I like to salute my dear Captain America! Ok so maybe he is not my favorite Marvel man, but he kind of wins this day. Hope this inspires you to have a nerdy Captain filled 4th of July and don’t forget the Rose!

CAPTAIN AMERICA STYLE

ToteTank (similar) | Flip Flops | Captain America Glass

Hope you have a wonderful 4th of July!

4th of July at WDW

 

GEEK GIRL BLOGGERS – SPRING FLING GIFT EXCHANGE

Hello my favorite brunch babes – I have missed you!! It has been a crazy few weeks for me… My IRL friends and family (plus anyone who follows me on Facebook or Snapchat) should know (by my use of flag emojis) that I was in France for work as I am most Mays for the Cannes Film Festival. Glamorous – yes, lots of work – yes, plenty of time to blog – not so much…

But here I am freshly back in Los Angeles with one run under my belt and blogging away!

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I am apart of an awesome group of ladies called the Geek Girls x Bloggers started by the wonderful Pepi of depepi.com and we had an amazing Geeky Girl Gift Exchange hosted by From Girly to Nerdy.

My parter was Kaitlin from Vivacioushobo.com and what can I say I think we were match perfectly. Kaitlin like me is in the Hogwarts Running Club (although we are different houses). I was literally zipping up my suitcase when the postman rang the bell with package in hand – it was a Slytherin water cup and Golden Snitch necklace. Seeing as how I would be in Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Orlando in less than 24 hours I was stoked!

Harry Potter Student Shot

Obviously that necklace was going right next to my wand in my carryon to wear! I love adding this to my Slytherin wardrobe! Thank you to Danielle and extra special thank you to Kaitlin – keep running – just not as much as Slytherin 😉

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What Does It Mean to Be an O.G. Harry Potter Fan?

Hey Brunchers! So I had the most amazing weekend where Jules and I went to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood this weekend! Woah – that name is a mouthful, so lets just call it Harry Potter Land West – k? K!

HARRY POTTER LAND WEST

This had me thinking… In this world of book-tubers just now reading Harry Potter – what does it mean to be an OG Harry Potter reader? Some people call us the Harry Potter Generation and I know that many of my readers are around my age so I am hoping I have some company with this one. (BTW OG = Original Gangster -> basically we are old now)

A little back story – I am currently 27 years old and started reading Harry Potter back in 1999 when Chamber of Secrets came out. I read Sorcerer’s Stone and Chamber back to back then had to wait for Prisoner of Azkaban and wait and wait and wait for everything after that. This was all in the days before Facebook, Twitter or YouTube – definitely no #shelfies back then.

So What Does Being an OG Harry Potter Means to Me?:

At 27 years old I own a wand, a Slytherin robe and sweater. I sometimes get weird looks at the Parks but those people have no idea the journey I went on with these books. When I see my fellow OGHP’s decked out and there is an unspoken bond that we all battled and fought together at Hogwarts and we are proud of it.

Knockturn alley

I learned basic HTML coding making fan-sites in the early 2000’s. Like I said – no social media back then. The one online source we did have were basic HTML fan pages started by 12 year old kids which ended up becoming sites like Muggle Net and the Leaky Caldron. Yes we were the creators back then (oh and still are today!) These were the glory days of geocities and anglefire. But who would have thought building your own common rooms would teach us coding! Do you remember geocities?

We had no clue how to say Hermione for like ever! We read the books before the movies were even a thought, and we had no clue how to pronounce any of the names. A bunch of 12 year old American kids trying to figure out how to say Hermione was something to behold. I think the trailer came out and we all said – oh thats what it was…

We waited and waited and waited. The biggest marking of the OG Harry Potter fan is that we had to wait. There was no binge book reading and no next book to start right after finsihing. We had to wait and deliberate on what we thought was going to happen next. Who was good – who was bad? We had to wait. I shared some of my older crazier theories here. The new generation of readers has some idea of what was going to happen or they can just head strait to the next book. I think the unique thing for us was the global pause – no one knew more than you did and it was kind of awesome. You do not want to know how many times I tried to dissect that prophecy – good lawd. I think I drove my mom nuts wanting to talk about the books but that was the entire generation.

Inside your head

Now, people get touchy when we talk about the “Harry Potter Generation” or being an OGHP Fan as I like to say but I want to make it clear that being a Harry Potter Fan has nothing to do with the above. A large and passionate group of us were truly fortunate to literally age up with Harry Potter. Are we better than any other fan? Who know… Probably some of us are and some of us definitely aren’t. But what I will say is that we were lucky. The last Harry Potter book came out the summer I graduated from High School and the last film right after I graduated from college – this was my entire childhood and led me into adulthood. I was one of the lucky ones! That’s probably what being an OG Harry Potter fan really means is that we were lucky!

HOGWARTS LETTER

 

WONDERCON 2016 Recap

WONDERCON HEADERHello brunchers! Another Wondercon has come and gone. This year Wondercon was held in Los Angeles over its usual home of Anaheim while the Anaheim Convention Center is under renovation.

I think all the veteran attendees have different feeling for what the change in location meant and how it effected our Con going experience.  Personally this year Wondercon was right in my backyard – well a backyard with traffic. Traditionally, I attend two full days of WonderCon when it was located in Anaheim, but this year I only made it down to the con on Saturday. I did think the panel schedule was a little lack luster compared to previous years, so this year I spent most of my time on the exhibit hall.

One thing I am learning currently is how to balance my 501st activity with my usual favorite things to do while attending a con. I have absolutely loved my experiences with the 501st and constantly want to be helping out and involved but I think I learned that for SDCC I really need to schedule myself to experience everything I want to see. But I mean how badass do we look…

501st Shoot - Con Woman Photography

So onto Wondercon… I had to get there early for our official 501st photo & legion parade. My mom did not have a badge this year so she came to see the shoot and all the activity going on in the lobby. After this her and I went to brunch at LA Live then I went back to the con on my own.

I hung out at the 501st booth for a while then when nerdy girl shopping with my fellow female 501st girls. Michelle came by and said hi – you should check out her amazing Nerd Out app for all your nerdy events!!

After my long day at the con we had a wonderful Geek Girl Brunch at Rosas Mexicano. This was our one year anniversary of the LA Chapter of Geek Girl Brunch and we had an amazing turn out. I got to meet some amazing new people and hang out with old friends as well – oh and margaritas were involved.

GEEK GIRL BRUNCH

Needless to say I am ready for SDCC – big panels on my favorite shows and movies, more amazing times with friends, and the build up to all of it. What are you looking forward too?