Monday, December 1, 2014

Culinary Adventures: Minnie Mouse Cupcakes

Sorry for the silence last week- our house was full of family members!  Two of Chief's aunts, one of her great grandmothers, and all of her grandparents came to visit this week for various lengths of time.  Everyone was here for Thanksgiving (except one of my sisters, who had to go home and go to work that day, because people who shop on Thanksgiving really suck) so we had an epic first birthday party in lieu of the traditional Thanksgiving dinner.

with her favorite birthday present, her toy puppy
It was a Minnie Mouse-themed party, so I made some Minnie Mouse cupcakes.  They were a big hit with everyone, so I figured I'd share a quick tutorial for how I decorated them.

Minnie Mouse Cupcakes

-chocolate frosting
-miniature creme-filled chocolate wafer cookie sandwiches (say that 10 times fast!)
-red decorating icing (in a tube or piping bag)
-white sugar pearls

-Frost the cupcakes with an even layer of the chocolate frosting.  You could pipe a swirled peak, but I find that to be too much frosting for my taste.

-Press two of the miniature sandwich cookies into the frosting side by side so that they're standing upright, like ears.

-Pipe a small line of red frosting in front of the ears from the midpoint of one to the midpoint of the other to serve as the bow.

-Carefully arrange the sugar pearls on the bow to serve as the polka dots.


For Mickey cupcakes, you could skip the bow.  You could also just use plain chocolate wafer cookies instead of the sandwich cookies, but I'll bet you can guess which is more delicious.  Use any flavor cupcake you want, but for maximum awesomeness, chocolate is best.

She loved it :)

What kind of cake did you make for your little one's first birthday party?

Much love,
The Geeks

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Mickey Mouse

*personal photo*
Today, I'm linking up over at Focused on the Magic for the Wordless Wednesday blog hop!  Today's theme is Mickey Mouse.  Click the button below to join in on the blog hop!

Much love,
The Geeks

Monday, November 17, 2014

Currently, Chief is... {1 year}

It's a month of celebration in our house this November!  Last Monday, we celebrated our second wedding anniversary and Chief turned one!  She had a birthday party at school and we opened some presents here at home, but the real party is happening on Thanksgiving Day, when all of her grandparents will be here to celebrate with us.  Although it seems like just yesterday I wrote her 9 month post, she is already a whole year old.  And what a year it has been!  Let's talk about these last few months:

Growing chunkier by the minute, but her height growth has slowed down.  The doctor said that genetics is starting to kick in- so she's probably going to be short like her Mommy.  In the past week, she pretty much outgrew her whole 12 month sized wardrobe, so I took the opportunity to stock up the 18 month wardrobe :)  I figure she should have an even wider selection, as she'll likely be in this size range for a while!  Some of the 18 month stuff is still big- her jammies are rather roomy, and the parka I bought her for when it snows is definitely too long in the arms still, but her 12 month clothes were just getting too tight, so I don't mind pants that are a bit too long or sleeves that need to be rolled up.

Eating pretty much everything now.  We have not yet done a proper peanut butter introduction, but we'll likely do that soon, but every other supposed allergen has been introduced now with no problems whatsoever.  She has transitioned to cow's milk now during the day and doesn't seem to know the difference- but she prefers it in a bottle.  We sort of skipped the traditional sippy cup and went straight to cups with straws in the lid, but the one she currently uses seems to frustrate her unless it has juice in it.  I just bought some new straw cups yesterday, and sent them to day care this morning, so here's hoping she'll drink milk out of them today.  I'm still nursing her when she wakes up and before she goes to sleep, and then whenever she wants it, and she has actually started asking for it when she's tired or cranky.  I'm going on a business trip this week, so she'll be having cow's milk with her regular breakfast and then breast milk in a bottle at bed time- which hopefully is as effective as the breast at getting her in a comfortable, sleepy mood- so by the time I get back on Friday night, she may have weaned herself.  I hope not!  I didn't realize how much I would want to keep nursing- I hate pumping with the fire of a thousand suns, and I am very excited about a time in the near future when I can get dressed without worrying if my outfit is "boob accessible" as I like to call it, but I absolutely love the feeling of closeness we have when she's nursing, and it's definitely the most effective way to calm her when she's fussy or cheer her up when she's upset.  Our goal was 1 year so she can wean at anytime and I'll be fine with that, but I hope it's not while I'm gone on this trip...

Talking about the puppy, all the time!  Daddy has called her Puppy as a term of endearment since we brought her home from the hospital, and one day she started saying what sounded like "Bobby" over and over again.  One day, he asked her, "Whatcha doin', Puppy?" and she repeated him- so that word was Puppy, not Bobby!  We bought her a stuffed puppy for her birthday because we can't have the real thing right now, and she loves him!  Until she names him something else, we call him Puppy, and she'll talk about him all the time- "Puppy, Puppy, Puppy, Puppy, Puuuuuuppy!  Puh-PPY!"  It's her favorite word, alongside Daddy and Mama, of course :)  (The occasional Boogie and Booty get thrown in there still, for good measure, and she will wave and say Hi to people in public, which wins her a few Hi's in return.)

Making facial expressions which crack me up!  She has this super cheesy grin that she puts on when she's trying to get you to smile- she's over-acting because she knows it will get a reaction from people, and it's the cutest thing I've ever seen.  She also does this monkey routine if you ask her "Are you a monkey?"  She'll put her hand under her armpit and pucker up her lips to say "ooh ooh ooh" and she makes us all laugh.  When she's getting kind of tired, she starts acting really silly, and will do things like put her head in her hand and put her elbow on whatever surface she's nearest, like she's posing for a camera, or throw her head back until you kiss her under the chin and make her giggle.  She's definitely reached the point where she knows how to make people smile and laugh, and she'll pull out every trick in her bag to keep her audience entertained.

Listening to Mommy sing Disney songs, as ever.  She loves it when people sing anything, really, and apparently they do a lot of the traditional nursery rhymes at school, because she seemed to recognize "No More Monkeys Jumping on the Bed" the first time I sang it to her (er, is it a song, or a chant?) and it's still her favorite, especially if you bounce her while you sing it.  I'm more comfortable with the idea of her watching tv now, so we've put on a few Disney movies with the intention of watching them with her, but she'll only pay attention during the songs- otherwise she busies herself with her toys (as she should), or just falls asleep in your lap (which is even better).  In addition to music, she loves being read to- and her favorite book is Sophie's Shapes that came with her Sophie the Giraffe toy.  Mr. Geek and I both have it memorized because we've read it so many times, over and over and over again.  The doctor said part of what she likes so much is the way we read it- I definitely recite it almost like a song, with the same inflection on the same words each time.  We recited it together once, and she seemed a little startled at first, but then she clapped when it was over, like we'd just put on some performance for her.  It's the only book in her library that she'll sit through the whole thing- she likes to hand you a book, let you read a couple of pages, then pick up a new one and ask for that instead.

Sleeping through the night still, and with a pretty regular routine.  Between 7 and 8 I can put on her jammies, nurse her, and then put her in bed still awake and she'll fall asleep without a fight.  This week when I'm out of town, Daddy has to do bedtime, and all he has is a bottle.  We're both pretty nervous about how that's going to go, but I'm sure she'll be fine.  Nap time is a bit of a battle, but we manage to get at least one 1 hour nap in every day- at school takes one nap that will last up to 3 hours, depending on how thoroughly they wear her out in the morning.  Generally around 11 or so on Saturdays and Sundays I can nurse her and put her in bed, and she'll complain, throw all her stuffed animals on the floor, and even take off her pants, but after about 15 or 20 minutes, she falls asleep.  On the rare occasion when she complains about bed time, I don't like to let her fuss for more than 5 minutes, but I'm more willing to let her cry at naptime, because she doesn't quite believe me when I tell her she's tired and she needs to work a bit of that energy out of her system.  We're past the stage of an infant who needs immediate comfort every time she whines, and she is most definitely complaining about the fact that she's been placed in bed, away from her favorite toys- if the cry becomes more urgent than just a complaint, I'll pick her up and we'll try another nap time tactic, like a walk with the Ergo or stroller, or sitting in Mommy's lap to watch a movie.  But bedtime is always smooth, and she doesn't wake up in the middle of the night anymore.

Loving her stuffed puppy; waving at people in public; her toy piano; saying "Hi" on her toy cellphone; dancing to music; turning light switches on and off (but mostly off); opening and closing doors and drawers; the eternal struggle for the electronic devices she's not supposed to have; Sophie's Shapes; standing on her own; pushing things around the room, but not actually walking on her own yet; giving big, slobbery, open-mouth kisses.

Hating naps; getting into and out of the car too many times in a row; sitting still.

So that was months 10-12!  I'm not sure how often I'm going to do these updates anymore- we'll only be taking birthday pictures on her actual birthday from now on, no more monthly photos, and I'm sure you're getting sick of all-baby-all-the-time around here, so I'm going to try to cut back a little bit.

How has life been for your little one lately?

Much love,
The Geeks

Friday, November 14, 2014

Oh, Internet... {58}

It was so nice having a day off this week.  We slept in, lounged around all morning, and then went out and hit the sales!  That's my idea of a good day :)

And here's my idea of a good week on the internet!

I'm in the market for a new coat and I love this one from ModCloth!

I think I may be getting this for Chief for Christmas... // via ThinkGeek
Merry Pizzamas!  // via DFTBA
As always, Carrots for Michaelmas has a beautiful reflection on life on her blog this week- this time on marriage.  (She posted it the same day as my anniversary post...and managed to say what I was trying to say but much more eloquently!)

What happened on your internet this week?

Much love,
The Geeks

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Parade Fun

the end of Disney's Electrical Parade in Magic Kingdom // *personal photo*
Today, I'm linking up over at Focused on the Magic for the Wordless Wednesday blog hop!  Today's theme is Parade Fun.  Click the button below to join in on the blog hop!

Much love,
The Geeks

Monday, November 10, 2014


photo by One Photo Gallery
Two years.

It's hardly any time at all, and yet it feels like we've been married forever.  It feels so easy, so right, to wake up next to you each morning, to go about my day knowing that you'll be there when I get home each night.  Our life is not easy, but it's our life- not my life separate from your life, but our life, experienced together, side by side, hand in hand.

You're a different person from the boy who got down on one knee in the parking lot after taking me to the ballet.  I'm a different person from the girl who was too excited to even say the word yes.  And we should be different people- we've grown and changed together, constantly challenging one another to become better people and better spouses.

And we've become parents!  We've learned how to grow a baby, how to give birth to a baby, how to care for that baby, how to parent that baby.  We were ready to be parents because we were ready to be married- we were mature enough to put the needs of another person before our own, to no longer think of ourselves as individuals, but as "us."  That doesn't mean we were prepared for parenthood- we didn't know there would be a third person to devote ourselves to so soon.  But we learned together- we're still learning together.  And I think we're pretty good at it.

*personal photo*
And I'm having a lot of fun, being a parent with you.

Being married to you.

Today is truly a celebration of us- today is the second anniversary of our marriage, and our daughter's first birthday.  We'll eat chocolate cupcakes (and she'll eat a chocolate cupcake, and make a mess, and it will be adorable), we'll have a fancy little home-cooked dinner, we'll open presents and put on our jammies and cuddle up together and watch a movie.  Today we celebrate this life that is so very different from the one we were living two years ago.

It's different, but I think it's even better.

photo by One Photo Gallery
Here's to forever, Love- a forever that looks different every day, but feels as natural and exciting as the day it first began.

Much love,
Mrs Geek

Friday, November 7, 2014

Oh, Internet... {57}

We've reached the end of my first week of blogging on my new Surface Pro 3- and I love it!

 Here's a look at some of my favorite things from the internet this week.

Kendra at Catholic All Year shared a beautiful reflection on death for Hallowtide.

Allie at Everyday Adventures took an adult tap class...with a bunch of kids.  Would you have stayed for the whole class, or chickened out and went home?

ModCloth is having an INCREDIBLE giveaway!  Go enter!  (Except don't enter because I want to win ^_^)

What happened on your internet this week?

Much love,
The Geeks

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Culinary Adventures: Creamy Stove Top Mac n Cheese

Last night, I wanted to make a super quick, super easy dinner.  Chief had already fallen asleep and it wasn't even 6:00 yet (she woke up a couple of hours later, but she just nursed for dinner and then went right back to sleep), so I knew that Mr. Geek and I had the luxury of eating something that was not-so-healthy- something that would be extra delicious with a glass of wine on the couch while we watched some Cutthroat Kitchen on the DVR.

Enter: macaroni and cheese.

I found Alton Brown's recipe for a stove top mac 'n' cheese and used it as a sort of guide- I didn't have evaporated milk or dry mustard, for example, and I'm anti-hot sauce, so I improvised with ingredients that are most definitely NOT the same thing, but the result was an ooey-gooey delicious pot of creamy macaroni and cheese which looks exactly like the stuff in the blue box, but tastes even better!

*personal photo*
Stove Top Mac n Cheese
Adapted from Alton Brown

-1/2 lb macaroni pasta (I used bowtie pasta)
-4 Tbsp butter
-2 eggs
-1/4 C heavy cream
-1 tsp dijon mustard
-salt and pepper
-8 oz sharp cheddar, shredded

-Bring a small pot of salted water to a boil; cook pasta according to package directions (mine was 8-10 minutes for al dente)

-Drain the pasta and lower the heat to low.  Melt the butter in the (now empty) pot; add the pasta back to the pot and coat with the butter.

-Mix the eggs, cream, mustard, and salt and pepper in a bowl.  Remove the pot from the heat momentarily and stir this mixture in.  Once it's thoroughly coated, return the pot to the heat and stir in the cheese.  Keep stirring until all the cheese is melted and the sauce looks nice and creamy.

If this were a side dish, you could probably get 4 servings out of it.  We managed to finish the pot as an entree :)  I think next time I might add a dash of paprika- because while hot sauce may not be my thing, this dish could probably use a little kick of something.

It's definitely not the healthiest thing I've ever made, but it was quick, easy, and exactly the sort of indulgence I needed midway through the work week.

What's your favorite weeknight comfort food?

Much love,
The Geeks

**my apologies for the crummy cellphone photo- I had no intention of sharing this recipe (which was really just a "I want some mac and cheese...this looks interesting...what if I add a little of this...") but when I shared the picture on social media, a couple of people actually asked for it!  So here you are!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Fashion Adventures: Do Leggings Count as Pants?

I'll be honest with you- up until a couple of weeks ago, I was firmly on Team Leggings Are Not Pants.  And then I bought this amazing, beautiful, comfy sweater, and was about to wear it with jeans...when I spotted these ridiculous faux leather leggings in my closet.  I've only ever worn these leggings under a dress (and then only maybe twice total) but I thought I would give this outfit a try...

AND I LOVE IT.  I'm not even sorry.  This is probably my favorite outfit in my wardrobe right now.

I think this is technically the "basic white girl uniform"- all I need is a Pumpkin Spice Latte and I'd be good to go.  No, I'm not in college anymore and no, I've never been in a sorority.  I have a baby (who is almost a year old!) and a husband and a full-time job at a desk in a cubicle where a little bit of my soul dies everyday.

I'm a grown up.

And I'm wearing leggings as pants.

And I may just do it again.

earrings: gift
necklace: gift
sweater: Kohl's
blouse: gift
watch: Kate Spade
leggings: Decree via PLNDR
boots: Target

So where do you stand in this epic debate?  Can you wear leggings as pants if you're a grown up?  (Or at all?)

Much love,
The Geeks

*all photos personal*

Monday, November 3, 2014

Culinary Adventures: Roasted Acorn Squash Soup

Brr it's cold!  Did you get snow on Halloween where you are?  We didn't, thankfully, but it was still awfully chilly!  I really hate cold weather...but I really love all the trappings of fall- football season, cardigans and tights, pumpkin everything, and warm, delicious soup!

I picked up 4 acorn squash a few weeks ago for a recipe that I saw on Food Network's The Kitchen, but it turned out I only needed 2, so I decided to use the other 2 for a soup!  This is especially delicious when served with an ooey gooey grilled cheese sandwich on thick-sliced crusty bread.

*personal photo*
Roasted Acorn Squash Soup

-2 acorn squash
-olive oil
-1 large carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
-1 garlic clove, peeled and roughly chopped
-1 C low-sodium chicken stock
-2 tsp cinnamon
-1/4 tsp ginger
-1/2 tsp dried sage

-Preheat the oven to 400F.  Cut each squash in half and scoop out the seeds- save them and toast them up later as a garnish for the soup!  Place the squash halves in a baking dish, flesh side up, and drizzle each with olive oil.  Generously season with salt and pepper.  Roast about 40 minutes, then allow to cool enough so you can handle them.

-Scoop the roasted flesh into the bowl of a food processor.  Add in the chunks of carrot and garlic.  Puree until smooth, drizzling in chicken stock as you go until you get the desired consistency.  (You may find that you want more stock to really thin it out, or less, if you squash were tiny to begin with.)  Depending on the size of your food processor's bowl, you might have to start pulsing before you add in all of your ingredients.

-Pour into a large soup pot and add the seasoning.  (For a little kick, add a pinch of red pepper flake or a dash of chili powder- or both!)  Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly.  Serve warm, topped with toasted seeds.

Once you add the puree to the pot, you can use an immersion blender to try and pulverize the mixture some more, but I left mine at a thicker texture.  When I asked Mr. Geek what he thought, he put on his best Chopped-judge voice and said, "Your flavors are great, but I have a problem with you calling this a soup, when it's clearly a puree."

Fair enough.

What do you like to eat when the temperatures drop?

Much love,
The Geeks

Friday, October 31, 2014

Oh, Internet... {56}

Happy Hallowtide

Speaking of death, my computer is dying a slow and painful death.  I got this laptop as a graduation gift from my parents at the end of 2010, so I guess it's time.  It's starting to overheat and the screen is doing this weird thing where black pixels turn red and white pixels turn blue (er, cyan).  Sort of impossible to edit pictures when you don't know what color things actually are!  But never fear- I've got a brand new computer arriving today!  Mr. Geek has had a Microsoft Surface for 2 years now (he got the original RT, then last year upgraded to the Surface Pro 2) and he LOVES it, and I've been a little jealous I've got a Surface Pro 3 :)  Hurray for living in the future!

Anyway, all of this is to say that I haven't been reading many blogs on my dying laptop lately, so this edition of Oh, Internet... will once again be a little thin.

But still awesome!

Vader's Little Princess has been turned into a 2015 wall calendar.  I WANT.

Kate Spade is collaborating with Gap Kids!  I feel like baby clothes are so much more fashionable nowadays than when I was a baby...

Carrots for Michaelmas shared a beautiful reflection on the vocation of motherhood.  (Who am I kidding- everything Haley writes is beautiful!)

Matt Walsh once again stated the obvious when he pointed out that the best time to have children is when you're young, even if it doesn't feel like the most convenient time. 

What happened on your internet this week?

Much love,
The Geeks

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Crafting Adventures: Han Solo Halloween Costume

I've shown you how I put together Chief's ewok costume and my Princess Leia costume, so today I have one last tutorial- Mr. Geek's Han Solo Costume!

Time to complete: the amount of time it takes your husband to get dressed.


-an oatmeal-colored cotton henley long-sleeved shirt
-a black vest
-dark wash jeans
-a holster belt
-a "blaster"

[The belt holster and gun are the exact same ones I bought for mine from the costume store.  If you're going for accuracy, Han wears navy blue slacks with red stripes down the outer seams, but jeans were so much easier- no sewing!]

-The best part of this costume- there's no sewing required!

What is your husband dressing as for Halloween this year?  Do you do themed family costumes?

Much love,
The Geeks

*all photos personal*

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Villains

*personal photo*
Today I'm linking up over at Focused on the Magic for the Wordless Wednesday Disney blog hop!  Today's theme is Villains.  This picture wasn't taken at a Disney Park- it was at the Air and Scare indoor trick-or-treating event we attended this weekend at the Udvar-Hazy Smithsonian Air and Space Museum.  My little ewok was a little intimidated by Darth Vader, but she posed for a picture anyway!  Click the button below to join in on the blog hop!

Much love,
The Geeks

Crafting Adventures: Leia on Endor Halloween Costume

So yesterday I showed you how I assembled Chief's ewok costume.  Today I'm going to show you how I made my costume- Princess Leia's military uniform on Endor.

Time to complete: 1 naptime (aka 1 hour.  If your child naps for longer than an hour, you can probably complete both this costume and the ewok costume together during one naptime)


-2 1/4 yards camouflage fleece
-light wash jeans
-combat-style boots
-holster belt
-black thread
-sewing machine

[Leia's combat poncho (who the eff wears a poncho into battle...) is actually made of a lightweight, probably waterproof material with more of a watercolor palette than this.  I decided to use fleece because it would save me some work- no hemming needed!  Remember, I wasn't going for 100% accuracy, just something passable for Halloween festivities.  If you're looking for extra credit, get some 1" wide yellow ribbon and attach it down the length of the jeans on the outer seams.  These are jeans I plan to wear again, however, so I left the ribbon off.  I found the faux-leather holster at the costume store in the cowboys and Indians section- it's basically a belt with a holster that you can slide to either hip.  The "blaster" is just a pistol from the police and military section of the costume store- it makes a very futuristic sound when you pull the trigger, nothing like a real gun.  The selection of Star Wars weapons was pretty limited in the store where I was shopping- mostly light sabers, obviously, and some big obnoxious white guns.  Leia carries a huge black blaster, but this little pistol worked just fine.]

-The poncho should fall to about knee-length in the back and hip-length in the front, so use a long piece of measuring tape and measure out that length, draping the tape over your shoulder just as the poncho will drape.  Cut a rectangle from the camo fabric that is the length you measured.  I was happy with the width from this particular bolt of fabric, but there was a white strip down one side naming the brand and style of fabric so I cut that off.  You want your rectangle to be wide enough so that when you put it on (after you cut a hole for your head) it will reach from wrist to wrist when you hold your arms out straight.  (It doesn't have to go all the way to your wrists- the important part is that it completely covers the width of your torso.)

a helpful diagram for the next bit
-Now you need to decide where to cut the hole for your head.  Fold your rectangle of fabric in half lengthwise.  The total length of this rectangle is k + h, with the variables defined in the diagram above- k is the length from your collarbone down to the backs of your knees, and h is the length from your collarbone down to your hips.  Measure one of those lengths- h is easier to measure on yourself, and it's shorter- and mark that spot on the fold of the rectangle with a pin.  When you unfold the fabric, that pin will mark the center of where your neck hole should be. 

-Place your measuring tape along your collarbone to determine the width of your neck hole.  I decided that 10" would be wide enough for me- this fleece stretches, so you don't need a terribly wide hole to fit your head through.  Cut a slit of that length, making sure the center of your slit is on the pin you used to mark the position.

-Now, you can totally stop there and no one will know the difference.  Leia's poncho technically has a hood, but I don't think she ever wears it (I need to watch the movie again!) so nobody would know if you didn't make one.  I figured that I had so much extra fabric, I may as well give it a shot.  Take your extra fabric and measure 2 rectangles that are each 18" high and the same width as your neck hole (in my case, 10").

-Lay the rectangles on top of each other, right sides together, and pin them together along one short side and one long side (it doesn't matter which).  Using a zig-zag stitch and a dark thread (I used black because it was already in my machine), sew the rectangles together along those pinned sides.  Be sure to back stitch at the beginning and the end!  I chose to use a zig-zag stitch because this fabric is a little heavy, and I figured it would both allow for some stretch and hold itself together well against the weight of the fabric.

-Turn the hood right-side-out.  Because you're working with rectangles, it will be sort of pointy.  You can either choose to not push the corner all the way through, leaving it sort of curved, or just not wear the hood anyway and no one will know :)  If you're going for total accuracy, round one corner of each rectangle before you sew them together, like the hood for the ewok costume.

-Just like with the ewok costume, find the center point of the front and the back of the neck hole and mark them with pins.  Find the midpoints between these pins and mark them with pins, so that you've divided your hole into fourths.  Do the same with the hood- the seam will be the middle of the back and the ends of the sides of the hood will be the middle of the front when they come together.  Line up the quarters of the hole and the hood and pin them, right sides together.  Using the same thread and zig-zag stitch, sew all the way around the neck hole to attach the hood.  You may need to gather it slightly, but that shouldn't matter.

-If you plan to wear the poncho all night, it doesn't matter what shirt you wear underneath.  In the movie, Leia wears a short sleeved khaki button-down work shirt with a front pocket.  She wears light blue slacks with yellow stripes down the outside, but, for simplicity's sake, I went with jeans.  (I bought some light grey leggings, but at the last minute I decided the slightly looser jeans would look more accurate.)  Leia's boots are knee high and black, but I wasn't about to buy new shoes just for this costume (though it was tempting, to be sure).  Wear your holster belt so that it buckles on top of the front of your poncho and wraps around your back inside the poncho.  This will give you some shape and hold the poncho in place.  I opted for natural-looking makeup and a nude lip

-And now we need to discuss that hairstyle.  Never fear- Princess Leia definitely used hair extensions, because it would be impossible to pull off all of those styles with just the hair she was born with.  (Especially if you look at the length and thickness of her hair when she wears it loose at the end of the last film.)  For this look, she has a double row of braids circling her head, and a braided bun at the base of her neck.  (It may actually be two braided buns- I couldn't find a picture with a good angle.)  If you want to skip the hairstyle entirely, you can try to find a helmet like the one she wears on Endor.  I knew a helmet would be too cumbersome and hot indoors- wearing this fleece poncho is kind of like walking around in a Snuggie, so I was already a little uncomfortable- so I decided to attempt the braids.  If you can find braided hair extensions in your coloring that will wrap around your head, use those and focus your attention on the bun (or buns).  If not, here's how I did the hair:

This is a diagram of the top of my head that will be helpful for the next part

-Part your hair down the middle.  Divide your hair into three sections by brushing your hair back at the crown of your head so that your part extends just over half of the length of your head.  You now have 3 sections- the two sides of the part in the front of your head and the back of your head beyond the crown.  (I made sure that the front sections included a little bit of hair from behind my ears.)  Pull the back section into a ponytail to keep it out of the way.

-Braid each of the two side sections and tie them off with a small rubber band (or just temporarily secure the ends of the braids with bobby pins).  Start the braids as close to your scalp as possible, and keep them tight as you go.  Drape each braid over the top of your head like milkmaid braids, only don't overlap them- lay them flat, one in front of the other.  Pin the end of each braid under the beginning of the other with bobby pins that match your hair color.  Try to hide the braids in your hair.

-Braid the back ponytail, then wrap the braid around the base of the ponytail and secure with bobby pins to create a bun.  If you have a lot of hair, you could make two ponytails side by side and create two braided buns, but, again, I'm not sure which is accurate.

-Spray the heck out of everything with hair spray.

My hair is getting long, but it's never been very thick, so my braids are thin and lame, as is the bun in the back.  The best results come from long, thick hair.

So that's it!  After a brief interruption tomorrow, you can come back Thursday for the last and simplest costume of the three- Han Solo!

What are you going to be for Halloween this year?

Much love,
The Geeks

*all photos are personal*

Monday, October 27, 2014

Crafting Adventures: Ewok Halloween Costume

If you follow Our Geeky Adventure on Instagram, then you know that I made our Halloween costumes this year, and I promised you some tutorials!  (You also already know what they are ^_^)

Straight from Endor, we're Han, Leia, and a tiny little ewok!  This weekend we went to the Udvar-Hazy Smithsonian Air and Space Museum's Air and Scare, an indoor trick-or-treating event that included photo opportunities with Star Wars and Ghost Busters characters.

These are really more assemble-it-yourself costumes, but I still figured I would share the process with you for all three of them.  (Han's costume involved absolutely no sewing!  Woohoo!)

Let's start with the little ewok!

Time to complete: One naptime (aka 1 hour- probably less, since you won't have to figure out the method like I did)


-1 1/2 yards orange suede material (amount depends on the size of your ewok)
-brown hoodie and sweat pants
-orange thread
-sewing machine

[I found the orange material in the sale pile at my local JoAnn's.  Look in the furniture fabric section to find this stuff.  You could also use a regular quilting-weight cotton, but I liked the texture of the suede.  I found the spear at the costume store in the cowboys and Indians section- it's tiny, and has a piece of string attached to it so you can sling it over your arm.  Whoever was holding the ewok looped their thumb through that string so that when she inevitably tried to throw it, it wouldn't hit the ground- or any unsuspecting Storm Troopers.]

-Using scissors or a seam ripper, remove the hood from the sweatshirt, then undo the seam holding the two pieces of the hood together.

-Lay the orange fabric out flat and place the sweatshirt on top, lining up the bottom edges.  Fold the orange fabric over the sweatshirt and cut the excess material, so that you have yourself a little sweatshirt sandwich.  (Well, taco, really.)  If your orange fabric is significantly wider than the sweatshirt, trim it so that they are roughly the same width.

-Remove the sweatshirt and unfold the orange fabric, then re-fold it so that the wrong side of the fabric is facing out.  Place the sweatshirt back on top of the folded fabric so that the top of the sweatshirt is aligned with the fold.  Using a chalk pencil or fabric pen, trace the neckline of the sweatshirt onto the orange fabric.  Cut along the curve you've traced so that when you unfold the fabric, there is a hole for your ewok's head.

-Fold the other piece of orange fabric in half, right sides together, and place on of the pieces of the hood on top and trace around it.  Add an extra 1/2 inch at the bottom so that the hood of your ewok's poncho cover's her forehead more than the sweatshirt would have.  (I think I added a bit too much length- more like an inch- so the hood was super floppy.  It made for some adorable pictures though!)  Cut along your traced lines and you'll have two pieces.

-Using a regular straight stitch on your sewing machine (or by hand, but ain't nobody got time for that), place the two hood pieces right sides together and sew along the curve.  Remember to back stitch at the beginning and end!  (I was lazy and used the thread that was already in my machine, which was black.  No one will see this stitch anyway.)

-Turn the hood right-side-out and place it on your ewok, if she's available.  If she's still taking her nap, you can just use your best judgment to estimate where the ears should go.  With the hood folded along the seam, I measured 4 1/2" from the straight edge (the opening of the hood) and 3 1/4" from the top, on both sides, and placed straight pins there to mark them as the ear holes.

helpful diagram for this next bit
-Open the hood, as if it were on your ewok's head, and let the front fold down over an imaginary forehead.  Using your straight pins as the center of the lines, draw a 1" line along the curve of the hood on each side.  Cut along these lines to open the holes for your ewok's ears.

-Cut two sorta-kinda oval shapes from your discarded sweatshirt hood, roughly 1" by 2".  (I literally just folded the end of a piece of fabric into the below ear shape and cut it off, leaving a little base.  When I unfolded the fabric, it looked like this.  You don't need a perfect oval.)

-Fold them so they look like ears.  I don't know how else to say that.  (Make sure they mirror each other- so the other ear would fold the right side over the left.)

-Poke the ears through the holes.  Open up the base of each ear so that it's flat, like above, and use a whip stitch to attach it to the hood.  You will see these stitches on the other side, so use a thread that is the same color as the hood.

-Here's what your stitches look like on the other side.  I wasn't sure how else to attach these ears (glue?) but I decided not to worry about visible stitching- ewoks are a primitive race, not known for their professional sewing skills.

-Here's where it gets tricky.  (Well, it was tricky for me, but I figured it out, so it won't be tricky for you!)  Fold the body of your poncho in half lengthwise so that you can mark the middle of the front and back of the neck hole with a straight pin.  Find the midpoints between those pins and mark those points with pins, dividing the neck hole into 4 sections.  Fold each half of your hood in half and mark the midpoints with pins so that it, too, is divided into 4 sections- the front and back marked by the opening of the hood (the ends of the fabric) and the seam, respectively.  Now, if the sweatshirt you're working with is a pullover, you should be able to attach the hood by sewing it to the body, right sides of the fabric together, with a straight stitch, lining up the 4 sections- pin the seam to the middle of the back of the neck and the opening on the middle of the front, and line up the midpoint pins of the hood with the pins of the body.  That is how your sweatshirt was assembled, so it should work the same way here.

However, my sweatshirt is a zip-up, meaning the neck hole is not wide enough to pull over my ewok's big ol' head.  When I attached it this way, it resulted in a hole that was too tiny for her to pull on.  I could have slit the poncho up the middle and added a zipper, which would have been annoying.  Instead, I decided to create a wide opening for the hood, so that the two sides do not meet in the middle.  I attached the hood so that the ends of the two sides are just past the middle of the sides of the neck hole.  Does that makes sense?

Basically, if you measure the width of the hood when it's lying open, and then measure the circumference of the neck hole, you'll notice that the neck hole is larger than the hood.  If you try to attach the hood so that its ends meet in the front, you'll have to gather the neck hole in so that it shrinks to fit- making it too small to pull over your ewok's head, but not a problem if the poncho were to be zipped up the front.  I lined up the seam of my hood with the middle of the back of the neck hole, then attached the hood so that neither piece was gathering.  This resulted in the hood being attached just in front of my ewok's shoulders.

Again, use a straight stitch, any color thread you want, and back stitch at the beginning and end.

-Finally, find the middle of the bottom of the front of the poncho.  Mark a spot at about the tip of your ewok's shoulder (use the sweatshirt as a guide, or have your ewok model the costume if she's available).  Cut a not-perfectly-straight line from the midpoint of the bottom up to that point marking the edge of the shoulder.  Do the same on the other side.  Repeat on the back.  This will result in a point on the front and back of the poncho (tunic?).

-Have your ewok wear her sweatshirt and sweatpants inside out, because the fuzzy insides of the fleece fabric resemble fur.  Put the orange poncho over her head and have her hold the little spear.

I know this isn't a 100% accurate costume.  I didn't have to make a full tunic- most ewoks wear just a hood- but I wanted to cover the zipper on the sweatshirt.  For a lot less fabric, you can make just a hood.  If you want extra credit, you can hem your edges, but I figured a little fraying was okay, because of the whole primitive race thing I mentioned earlier.

Tune in tomorrow for directions on the Leia costume!

What are you dressing your little one as for Halloween this year?

Much love,
The Geeks

*all photos are personal*

Friday, October 24, 2014

Oh, Internet... {55}

I didn't have a whole lot of time for the internet this week, so this roundup of the best bits of the internet is short:

The ModCloth blog talked about the historically inaccurate yet deliciously beautiful Sofia Coppola film Marie Antoinette, one of my all-time-favorite guilty pleasure movies.

A Beautiful Mess shared a recipe for homemade cookie butter made from any cookie flavor you want!  I'm gonna have to try this...

What happened on your internet this week?

Much love,
The Geeks

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Transportation

*personal photo*
Today I'm linking up over at Focused on the Magic for the Wordless Wednesday Disney blog hop!  Today's theme is Transportation.  I'd say this is my favorite form of transportation in Disney's Hollywood Studios- the limo sent by Aerosmith to take us to their show!  Click the button below to join in on the blog hop!

Much love,
The Geeks

Monday, October 20, 2014

Fashion Adventures: If Turtlenecks are Wrong, I Don't Want to be Right

I took outfit photos last week for the first time in a long time, and I'm really excited to share the pictures.  They're not particularly good pictures- it had rained all day and the pictures are a little wet and dark- and I'm still a total cheeseball when it comes to posing for these things, but they're proof that I'm pretty much back to my pre-pregnancy weight.  I haven't officially weighed myself, so I could still be carrying an extra pound or two, but everything fits the way it fit before I got pregnant, and that's good enough for me. 

So I'm not going to say much in this post, just let the pictures speak for themselves.


Earrings: gift
Sweater: Macy's
Necklace: gift
Watch: Kate Spade
Bracelet: gift
Jeggings: Cato
Boots: Shoe Station

When did you finally drop all your baby weight?  I had expected about 9 months...but it's been almost a year.  Close enough!

Much love,
The Geeks

*all photos are personal*

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Country

*personal photo*
Today I'm linking up over at Focused on the Magic for the Wordless Wednesday Disney blog hop!  Today's theme is Country.  France is one of my favorite country pavilions in Epcot because Belle, my favorite princess, occasionally makes an appearance, and because the food there is really good!  Click the button below to join in on the blog hop!

Much love,
The Geeks

Monday, October 13, 2014

Baby and Me: Black and White

Dress: Carter's
Shoes: Carter's

Dress: ModCloth
Shoes: ModCloth

I think Mr. Geek would have to take us out dancing if we wore these outfits!

Much love,
The Geeks

Friday, October 10, 2014

Oh, Internet... {54}

It's been approximately 1 million years since I last did an Oh, Internet... post, but I actually had time to look at the internet this week, so I figured I'd show you what I found!

I'm almost done sewing our family Hallowe'en costumes, but they are nowhere near as amazing as the ones that Make It and Love It makes for her kids!  (I'm trying not to feel inadequate...)
This one pot red wine pasta from A Beautiful Mess looks divine!

Carrots for Michaelmas shared a beautiful reflection on instilling positive body image in her children.

This tumblr is too perfect.

Kelly at View Along the Way is incredible- seriously, you should read every post at her blog!-  and she's begun chronicling her task to decorate a room in a safe house for women rescued from sex trafficking.  Isn't that amazing?

Shayla at Northern Exposure wrote about how awful it is when people say "just you wait" and tell you how terrible it is to have kids.  I hate this, too- why can't we share the positive parts of parenthood?  (Which, by the way, far outweigh the negative.)  I found that people offer the same negativity when I talk about how happily married we are- "Just you wait, the honeymoon phase won't last forever!"

What happened on your internet this week?

Much love,
The Geeks