Friday, August 30, 2013

Oh, Internet... {30}

I am soooooooooooo excited for this long weekend, let me tell you.  We're going to be doing a lot of cooking this weekend, a lot of hanging out with friends, and hopefully a little bit of resting, too. 

The internet definitely didn't rest this week!  Here are some of the awesome things that happened on my internet this week:

Kaelah Bee shared this super awesome DIY!  I can't wait until Chief is old enough for something like this...

This xkcd comic is awesome.  Why aren't there dinosaur ghosts?
This is awesome! // Photo by Fussy Monkey Business via Curbly
I've seen a lot of recipes for homemade Pop-Tarts out there, but these from Une Gamine dans la Cuisine are really unique!

Check out Miss Emma's review of Le Fou's Brew over on her blog A Pinch of Pixie Dust!  (I realize it's meant to compete with Universal's Butterbeer, but frankly it sounds more tasty than Universal's interpretation of that fictional beverage.)

I love these ideas for sewing projects using old clothes and scrap fabric on Curbly!

What fun and awesome things happened on your internet this week?

Much love,
The Geeks

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Books: August 2013

image via Google Books

When people claim a new book- especially a new YA book- is "the next ____________", I'm hesitant to read it; I'd rather a book be able to stand on its own than climb on the shoulders of someone else's good idea.  So when Divergent was being labeled "the next Hunger Games," I wrote it off immediately.  Frankly, I'm getting sick of dystopian futures and teenager-led revolutions- can we move on to another trend now?  However, Veronica Roth has built up quite the fandom around her series and there's a movie coming out- plus a good friend of mine read it and enjoyed it- so I went ahead and gave it a try.

I read this book pretty quickly considering all the other things going on in my life right now, and that's largely due to the writing style.  Much like Suzanne Collins, Roth has built her world in First Person through the eyes of her main character, and the action unfolds in short, choppy sentences, pulling you forward and making it hard to put down.  Even as elements of the plot started to frustrate me, I just wanted to know what happened next, so I kept going.

And yes, some of it is frustrating.

Does it make me a boring old mom to complain about the romance?  Because yes, there is romance, and for a while it seems to overwhelm the storytelling- I really want to tell our narrator to stop with the googly-eyes and get on with the plot!  Thankfully it doesn't start out that way- we get to know our main character and her world a bit before she sets her sights on the broody, hunky guy.  However, the budding relationship itself bothers me a little bit as well- at least at first.  The friend who recommended this book thinks I'm overreacting when I say this, but the romance feels slightly on the Bella-and-Edward side of the spectrum to me.  Roth places her main character in a struggle to prove that she's brave- not only to the world, but to herself as well- and that is so incredibly real to me, no matter the setting.  I can't help but feel that Roth cheapens that journey a bit by introducing a love interest that comes to save the day at just the right moment- and that seems to be what attracts our main character to him the most.  There is this facade of, "Oh, no, he's attracted to her because of her strength," but I can't help but feel like he's more turned on by her fragility, her weakness, her vulnerability- because she needs him and because he can overpower her.  Again, my friend thinks I'm overreacting a bit, and supposedly things get better on the romance front in the next book.

The only other problem I have with this book is that for most of the story, this world seems just...well...not all that believable.  I had to ignore the fact that this is supposed to be set in Chicago, a real place, in the real future, and pretend it's a complete fantasy world where a society would ever decide to live by these rules.

In all honesty, I did enjoy Divergent overall, and I'm excited to move on to the sequel (once it's available in softcover, because I'm cheap).  I think this is going to be a good movie as well, and for me at least, it'll be a little test-drive of Shailene Woodley's acting chops before The Fault in Our Stars.  If you like speculative fiction, action-adventure stories, and, yes, a good old-fashioned dystopia, then you'll like Divergent, so I suggest you give it a go.

What did you read this month?

Much love,
The Geeks

Monday, August 26, 2013

Foods Named After People

John Green and Mental Floss, droppin' knowledge on ya'.

Fun fact: The Hollywood Brown Derby in Disney's Hollywood Studios down in Orlando is a replica of the original Brown Derby restaurant and its menu includes- you guessed it- an "original" Cobb salad.  Omnomnom.

Much love,
The Geeks

Friday, August 23, 2013

Oh, Internet... {29}

Uh, so I didn't post anything on Wednesday.  OOPS.  I had planned on writing about this week's episode of So You Think You Can Dance but I had problems finding pictures in time for a post to go live Wednesday morning so...whoops.  But never fear- I do indeed have a roundup of the awesome things that happened on the internet this week!

Can I be normal-sized again so I can wear this? // via ModCloth
I love this super easy art project on Infarrantly Creative- and I love the fabrics even more!

The writers of The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World have a Disney-themed house- but not in the way you'd think!  Check out pictures on BoingBoing!

Speaking of Disney- Stephanie from This Casita and her family went to Disneyland!  Read about how they planned what sounds like an awesome vacation.

Karisa Tells All is, as you know, one of the funniest blogs on the whole internet, and she recently celebrated a birthday.  Just read it.  She's awesome.

Shayla at Northern Exposure wrote a post this week similar to mine from Monday (only hers is a bit more eloquent).  Why do people- even well meaning people- seem to think that we first-time moms are suddenly helpless idiots who are barely able to function on our own?

I recently discovered Little Big, and this week she posted a wonderful list of delicious-looking recipes!

What awesome things happened on your internet this week?

Much love,
The Geeks

Monday, August 19, 2013

Five Things Pregnant Women are Not Supposed to Say

...but I'm going to say them anyway, because they're things that I feel from time to time, and I figure it's better to be honest than bottle it up.  I was a little afraid to write this post at first because of the inevitable backlash (either in actual comments or just what people will think) but a friend and fellow blogger I admire wrote a similar post a few months ago and nobody ran after her with torches and pitchforks so maybe I'll be just as lucky?

Five Things Pregnant Women are Not Supposed to Say

I really, really miss alcohol.
I feel like such an alcoholic thinking this, but boy is it true.  A glass of wine.  A bottle of cider.  A whiskey and Sprite.  It's not even that I'm looking for the stress relief of a slight buzz or the nearly instant sleep that follows 2 glasses of red wine...I just miss the way these drinks taste.  I find myself sometimes ordering a dish made with a wine sauce just to reminisce over the flavor.  I realize at this point in the pregnancy, a glass of wine once-in-a-blue-moon after a particularly stressful day won't hurt anything, but I'm going to continue this teetotalism for as long as Chief is on breast milk- which will hopefully be for at least a year- aside from dark beer, which I guess I'll have to learn to like as it helps with milk production.  Besides, I'm not having problems falling asleep at night, nor am I too stressed to function, so it's not that I need a glass of wine, it' just that I want one.  Or, you know, a bottle.
Oh wine festivals, how I miss you... // {personal photo}
I'm afraid my baby might be ugly.

She'll be covered in cheesy nastiness.  She'll have a cone head.   She might be a furry little werewolf.  She might get to star in a Proactiv commercial.  I know all of this is perfectly normal, and that not every baby has all of these at birth, but what if Chief looks like a slimy little alien when they hand her to me?  What if I...don't like her?  Of all the things I have to be scared about right now, this is the one that scares me the most.  And I kind of hate myself for it.

I've never been this heavy before in my life and I hate it.
I just want my jeans to fit again- not my fat jeans, the ones that make my butt look good- and I want to be able to hold my baby in my arms.  I'm ready for this pregnancy to be over.  I love feeling Chief move, I love that I can see it when she kicks, I love pressing the palm of my hand against my belly and feeling her little foot press right back, like she's talking to me.  But honestly...I don't love this belly.  I love the baby inside, but I don't love the look of this huge, almost pointy protuberance, or the fact that it's nearly impossible to bend over even slightly.  Mr. Geek makes fun of the way I waddle and the fact that I have to sit down to put on a pair of pants.  I hate it when people tell me how cute my "bump" is- because there's nothing cute about being the size of a whale, and also because it makes me feel guilty for hating the way I look.  I'm glad I took on the challenge of doing outfit photos throughout the pregnancy because it's helped keep me on my toes- I want to really work at looking good (or as good as I can) so I can take pictures that are good enough for the blog, rather than wearing sweat pants every day and wallowing in the misery that comes with the ever-increasing numbers on the scale.

Unless I ask you directly about a specific subject, I don't want to hear your advice or opinions.
-especially if you don't actually have kids.  I feel like we've suddenly joined this super-secret parent club, and I understand that the more established members want to look out for the new initiates so we don't ruin everything they've worked so hard to build, but seriously, stop.  I know you think you're helping when you offer completely unsolicited advice, but honestly, I'm probably not going to follow your directions for "the best way to [xyz]" and then when you find out that I'm doing almost the opposite of what you said, you're going to judge me for it.  So you should probably save us both the trouble and just DON'T SAY ANYTHING, then you won't consider my "bad" choices to be proof that I don't respect your opinion, and you can just judge me for being a "bad" parent instead.  And honestly, childless people- I don't care how many babysitting gigs you've had or how many obnoxious families you've observed in restaurants, you really have no business telling any new parent what they should or shouldn't be doing.

I'm terrified at the thought of natural birth.
-but I'm doing absolutely everything I can to ensure that we can have one.  I seriously want to do this with no drugs, no induction, and no snide remarks from naysayers who think it's both ridiculous and impossible to not take advantage of all the inventions of modern medicine.  I realize women have been doing this for-literally-ever, as evidenced by the fact that the human race still exists, but still- what if I can't do it?  And I don't just mean giving in and begging for the drugs, I mean what if I somehow...screw up, or don't do enough, and Chief suffers because of it?  (I realize I'll be in a hospital, surrounded by people who do this every day, not to mention women who have done this several times themselves, but still.)  And frankly I don't have a very high threshold for pain.  I'm really scared.

Okay there, I said it.  I know you're supposed to be 100% positive all the time and not complain about anything when you're pregnant, but I can't help it- this is what I'm feeling, and I can't help but be honest about the way I feel.

Fellow preggo ladies- what forbidden thoughts go through your mind every day?  Open up and say them in the comments- nothing is off limits here.

Also please nobody hate me for this post.  Please.

Much love,
The Geeks

Friday, August 16, 2013

Oh, Internet... {28}

Mr. Geek and I both took the day off yesterday to do baby stuff.  We had an OB appointment in the morning for my glucose test, an ultrasound to follow up on a (thankfully) non-issue, and a regular check-up.  (Side note: I really do consider these doctors appointments to be our appointments.  I realize he doesn't have to be there but I love that he's made an effort to come to every single one, to hold my hand when they draw blood, to watch the screen with me when they show us our baby girl.  He asks the doctor questions and sometimes remembers instructions I might forget, and is overall 100% invested in this whole being-a-dad business.)  Then in the afternoon, we went to tour a daycare center that we're looking at for when I go back to work in February.  (The center is wonderful, and I know they'll take good care of her, but still...I don't want to think about having to drop her off there every day.)  So going back to work this morning, after having Thursday off, was rather difficult- we had to wake up early for the doctor's appointment, so I wasn't quite in full weekend-mode yet, but still.  Today felt more like a formality than anything else, a box to check before I was allowed to say, "Okay, the week is over  now."  In other words- I wasn't very productive ;)

The internet was plenty productive this week!  Here are some of the awesome things I found:

kitties playing leap frog!  // via Cheezburger
One does not simply build a hotel on Mordor... // via ThinkGeek
A LOST-themed nursery...perhaps for baby #2? // via M&J Collection
these look delicious! // via Little Big

SakaCon made some adorable earrings out of shrinking plastic- you know, like Shrinky-Dinks!

Geek in Heels wrote a post about how you just can't please everybody- especially as a blogger.  I agree with the sentiment 100%, but still, I can't help but to want people to like me, and to be deeply affected when they don't.

Bloggers have been singing the praises of engineering prints for years now, but I love the way Kaelah Bee has used them to do a gallery of wedding photos!  I'm definitely stealing this idea!!

Thank you to Engadget for reporting on the fact that every episode of Goosebumps ever is now available on Netflix Instant.  YES.

What awesomeness happened on your internet this week?

Much love,
The Geeks

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Fashion Adventures: Suit Up!


I'm pretty much in a constant state of tired nowadays.  I can get a solid 8 hours of sleep, wake up before my alarm without feeling sleepy anymore, but my body just does not want to move.  I could lie in bed all day and I think I still might not feel rested enough.  Mr. Geek has suggested I start sipping on some Earl Grey in the mornings, but I don't think caffeine will help when it's my body that feels so exhausted.  Case in point- yesterday morning at work, I had to spend about an hour walking around the office and talking to different people to set up a project- an hour of walking, standing, and just...not sitting.  No big deal, right?  Except when I finally got back to my desk, I practically fell into my chair.  I felt like I'd just run a marathon.*  Phew.  Thank heavens for my Nalgene bottle (remember Nalgene bottles?) full of ice cold water.

A couple weeks into my second trimester, when the morning sickness finally stopped, I found myself feeling weak and dizzy every now and then.  The doctor tested me for anemia and apparently that's not the problem, so he prescribed resting when I need rest and plenty of water.  Even still, Mr. Geek and I found some prenatal vitamins with added extra iron, so I started taking them for a while.  I know traditionally, most prenatal vitamins do have high levels of iron, which can add to the morning sickness, but we had actually found some chewable, gummy prenatals that don't have particularly high levels of iron (because they could be appealing to unsuspecting children and that extra iron would harm their tummies).  The problem with the extra-iron vitamins is that they're HUGE horse pills that practically make me gag just taking them!  Once I got the dizzy feeling under control, I switched back to the much-easier-to-take gummy vitamins and have been using them ever sense.  Mr. Geek wants me to switch back again to combat this exhaustion, and as much as I don't want to, I think I will.

I don't think I look particularly tired in these pictures (except for the slight under-eye baggage...) which were taken on Monday- 27 weeks 4 days for those playing along at home.  The discerning eye will notice that this isn't actually a suit- the slacks are from Motherhood Maternity and the jacket is from a suit I got at The Limited waaaaaay back when I graduated high school.  In real life, the color difference isn't quite so stark- or maybe it is, but I don't notice because I can't see past my belly when I look down... Still, I get compliments on this "sharp suit" when I wear it, and I don't think any of my other maternity clothing has garnered such reactions from coworkers.

But I'm not crazy- it's August and I'm huge, so I was not going to be wearing any sleeves under that jacket!  This top still feels too baggy, but it's definitely comfortable, and the belly isn't done growing yet so I know I can wear this throughout the fall without any buttons popping off.

Blazer: The Limited
Top: Motherhood Maternity
Necklace: Francesca's Collections
Watch: Kohl's (same style, different color)
Slacks: Motherhood Maternity
Shoes: Simply Vera, Vera Wang via Kohl's

Moms- how did you prevent exhaustion during pregnancy?  Or is it something I'll just have to deal with- sit down when I'm tired, that kind of thing?

Much love,
The Geeks

*Okay so I've never actually run a marathon and therefore can't reasonably claim to know what that feels like, and I expect I never will.  Point is I was tired, y'all.
**All photos personal**

Monday, August 12, 2013

Culinary Adventures: Chicken Parmesan

Last Wednesday was Mr. Geek's 26th birthday, so I asked him what he wanted for a birthday dinner.  His favorite meal is shepherd's pie, so that's normally my go-to "special meal" for him, but that's more of a hearty, winter time dish, so I was secretly glad when he asked for chicken parmesan instead.  The pressure was on, however, because whenever Mr. Geek wants to pull out all the stops and make dinner for me, this is what he makes.  I did a little hunting and found a rather unique take on chicken parmesan- unique because it was insanely quick and easy, but also because it's not breaded and fried!

Confession time: this year I was absolutely horrible in the birthday department, even though this dinner turned out delicious (he had seconds!  Technically thirds...)  I didn't have a chance to go grocery shopping before his actual birthday, so we didn't eat this on Wednesday- we ordered Chinese instead.  (I'm a terrible wife.)  The gift I bought for him didn't show up until Thursday, so he couldn't open it with the others.  (Although that wasn't entirely my fault- but I guess I could've ponied up for faster shipping...)  I promised him we'd have the chicken parm on Friday night, and though I did have the ingredients by then, Friday was a long day of being pregnant, so when I sat down on the sofa to quickly check my email and pull up the recipe, I ended up...falling asleep.  At 6:00.  On a Friday.  When I was supposed to be making a birthday dinner.  SUNDAY.  We could make it on Sunday.  Yes.  Except, generally, when you're making someone a birthday dinner, you don't put them to work alongside you at the stove.  (I didn't technically make him join in though.  I just asked him if he wanted to get out some aggression with the meat tenderizer mallet and then he ended up not leaving the kitchen!)

But you know what?  We really love cooking together, and the dish turned out fantastic, so I'd say, overall, it was a success.

Chicken Parmesan
Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis

-3 Tbsp olive oil
-1 tsp rosemary (fresh is always best, but dried herbs work just as well here)
-1 tsp thyme
-1 tsp parsley
-salt and pepper to taste
-1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
-1 1/2 C tomato sauce (homemade would be awesome, but we used a jarred sauce to save time)
-1/2 C shredded mozzarella
-1/2 C grated parmesan
-2 Tbsp unsalted butter cut into chunks

-While your oven is preheating to 500F, wrap the chicken breasts in plastic wrap and pound them flat with a tenderizer mallet.  (If you want your husband to help with the cooking process, this is a good place to bring him in.)  Cut each flattened piece in half (or thirds, depending on how large it is- you want each piece to be about the size of the palm of your hand).  Mix the herbs, salt, and pepper with the oil in a bowl, then brush it on both sides of each slice of chicken.

-In a large, heavy pan (like a cast iron skillet) over high heat, cook the chicken, about 2 minutes per side.  You're going to finish the cooking in the oven, but you do want to get rid of as much pink as you can.  Remove the pan from the heat until your oven is ready to go.

-Pour the tomato sauce around the chicken, then cover each piece with the mozzarella, parmesan, and a bit of butter.  Pop the pan in the oven for 3-5 minutes, just until the cheese is melted and the chicken is cooked through.

-While your husband still has 2 oven mitts on, he may start bouncing around like a boxer, saying, "Put 'em up, put 'em up."  If he does, be sure to snap a picture.

-Here's what it looks like when it comes out of the oven- bubbly and cheezy and delicious. 

-Serve over pasta- we went with whole wheat linguine.  Sprinkle on some extra parmesan cheese if the Spirit moves you.

What's your favorite thing to do for your significant other on their birthday?

Much love,
The Geeks

*all photos personal*

Friday, August 9, 2013

Oh, Internet... {27}

Mr. Geek and I are starting to refer to Miss Chief as our little wiggle worm because she is almost constantly moving!  Sometimes it's just an isolated kick and if I rub my belly or press lightly with one or two fingers in response, she'll give me another nudge to tell me that she knows I'm there.  (At least that's how I like to interpret it...)  Sometimes, if I sit very still, she kicks so forcefully that you can see it from the outside- and that makes me laugh, which makes her kick even harder!  But sometimes, right after I eat something sweet or drink some orange juice, she'll dance.  I think I'm feeling her doing the same movements she was doing in our last ultrasound- raising her feet up and reaching her hands toward them, then throwing her legs back down again and flinging her arms back over her head.  When we watched her flailing around like that, she was too tiny to feel, but now that she's grown, this movement (at least I'm assuming it's this particular movement) results in the feeling of 3 or 4 little nudges in quick succession- and she'll do it over and over and over again.  Or sometimes, she'll roll around, moving from one side of my belly to the other and then back again- which I understand, as it takes me a while to find a comfortable position to sleep in, too :)

Since today is Friday, I'm dancing a little bit, too, in celebration at the end of a long week.  So let's all wiggle a little as we look at the awesome things provided by the internet this week!

This china cabinet is shaped like a phone booth!  Gah!  Want!! // via A Beautiful Mess
Know a new mom?  Looking for the perfect gift for her?  Try whipping up a batch of I Am Baker's lactation cookies!  I am DEFINITELY going to try making these!
Penga at Sakacon made this awesome Star Wars dress for ComiCon!

My cousin shared this awesome article on Facebook about 5 common (and damaging) myths about breastfeeding.  So glad I read this!

What do you think of the new Doctor Who?  I'm personally super excited for an older Doctor- I'm hoping it means the show goes back to feeling like classic Who with less sexual tension and more straight-up adventure!

A reader on The Kitchn has the absolute BEST idea for a birthday present for his daughter's 21st birthday- which will be 20 years from now.

Did anything happen on your internet this week that made you want to dance?

Much love,
The Geeks

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Fashion Adventures: Time to Go to Work

For the most part, all of my pre-pregnancy tops that are work-appropriate are officially too small now- give or take a few polos.  I've had maternity slacks in black and grey since the very beginning of the pregnancy, but I've recently had to go out and pick up a few tops that leave room for the belly.  I wanted to try and buy only "regular" clothes that would hopefully get some wear post-baby (and that would be inherently less expensive than clothing labeled "maternity") so my first instinct was to aim for shirts one or two sizes bigger than what I normally wear.  The only problem with that theory is that the only place where I've gained any noticeable weight is my belly- yes, I've gone up a bra size, but I've always been a little lacking in the chest-area, so even with this increase, my pre-pregnancy clothes would actually fit *better* now, were it not for Chief's presence- "regular" clothes that are roomy enough for the belly are too roomy everywhere else.  So if I can't wear my "regular" tops and I can't wear bigger "regular" tops, I guess I have to turn to maternity tops.

All this talk about tops and pants and here I am in a dress!  Empire-waist dresses are the one type of "regular" clothes that do still fit, even if I don't typically wear this cut.  I bought this dress at the beginning of the pregnancy but don't wear it very much- mainly because I don't often wear dresses to work.  (Also, it's my regular size, and, as usual, was a little baggy up top until just a couple of weeks ago.)  In the heat of summer, and before I had a chance to pick up some maternity tops, however, this dress has been just perfect.  These photos were taken (by Mr. Geek, not the tripod!) last Monday- 26 weeks 4 days, and the straight-on shots, unless you look closely, you can't even tell that I'm pregnant! 

Do these photos look over-processed to you?  Because of the light, my skin was practically glowing in these pictures- not a glorious pregnant glow, more a was-I-wearing-white-tights-that-day? glow.  I messed with the white balance until I didn't look quite so pale- but the other colors are really intense.  (Although the dress really is that electrically blue in real life.)



Earrings: Charlotte Russe
Necklace:  Forever21
Blazer: New York and Company
Dress: Marshall's
Watch: Kohl's (same style, different color)
Shoes: Simply Vera by Vera Wang via Kohls

How often do you wear dresses to work?  Moms- did you prefer larger "normal" clothes while pregnant, or did you spring for maternity clothes?

Much love,
The Geeks

Monday, August 5, 2013

The Darndest Things

Oh John.  We missed you.  (I love hearing about the adorable things his son Henry says and does.)

Has your child ever surprised you by remembering something crazy and random?  What's the craziest thing you ever said to your parents as a small child?

Much love,
The Geeks

Friday, August 2, 2013

Oh, Internet... {26}

It's Friday!  Another week down, another week closer to being able to hold Chief in my arms :)

Here are some of my favorite things offered up by the internet this week:

Miss Emma shared these delicious looking Disney cupcakes on A Pinch of Pixie Dust
I have GOT to try these homemade funnel cakes from Piece of Cake

I absolutely love this post from Boy Loves Girl about not being brought down when people are negative about marriage.

Unbelievably, fall is just around the corner, and Craftaholics Anonymous shared some awesome fall fonts this week.

Karisa Tells All shared a hilariously accurate list of "The 5 People You Meet in Hell".  Seriously love this girl.

Just when you think Jo Rowling can't get any more awesome, she announced on her (and Harry's!) birthday that she's donating all proceeds from The Cuckoo's Calling to charity.

What awesome things happened on your internet this week?

Much love,
The Geeks