Monday, September 30, 2013

The Original 30 Day Challenge: (Day 30) Whatever Tickles Your Fancy

I am not very photogenic.
I cannot believe I made at least one entry every day for the entire month of September.  I am rather proud of myself.  There were definitely times when I just wanted to skip it and play Bejeweled Blitz all night, once PenPen was in bed.  Hell, many nights I just wanted to go to bed.  But I stuck to it and I would like to think that means I will be writing a quite a bit more often on here.  I already got some ideas for October, like a review of crazy Halloween candy.  We will see how all that turns out. 

Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Original 30 Day Challenge: (Day 29) Hopes, Dreams and Plans for the Next 365 Days

October 2013:  On the 5th my husband will turn 30.  Of course we will have a little celebration for that.  The following weekend we will have out first real night away from the baby together.  I think it will be tough, but I already had to spend a whole week away from PenPen back in July.  I am most excited for Halloween because it will be PenPen's first.

November 2013: The beginning of the month is NekoCon.  Hopefully it will be a fun convention, as I haven't been to a pure anime convention in some years.  During the weekend of Veteran's Day my sister in law will be visiting.  Sadly, she won't be bringing my niece, but I am very looking forward to her visit.  Also, we will be celebrating PenPen's first Thanksgiving.  I know she is way too young to really get Thanksgiving, but still.

December 2013: All I could think about last Christmas is that this Christmas I would have a child.  I haven't had a Christmas tree in a couple years, so I am super excited to have an excuse for it this year.  I don't plan on going gift heavy because PenPen will only be 9 months and I don't want her to get the idea that gifts are the important part.  I also love all the Christmas movies.

March 2014: PenPen will be one year old at this point, so we will probably throw a party.  She is growing so fast already, I wonder what she will be like at a year.

May 2014: My husband and I will be celebrating 4 years of marriage.

July 2014: This is a big month for me.  I will be celebrating one year with my company, which I love to death so far.  I will also be celebrating my birthday.

August 2014: August 23rd is when my husband and I started dating.  It is also his dad's birthday.  I want to say Mike and I will have been together for 9 years at this point.

September 2014: Dragon Con.  I will not miss it this time.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Original 30 Day Challenge: (Day 28) This Year, In Great Detail

Instead of going into great detail, I am going to share with you my last year in the form of pictures.  Being pregnant, I documented a lot of it.


October 19, 2012
November 02, 2012

November 15, 2012

December 28, 2012

December 29, 2012

January 15, 2013

February 7, 2013

  
February 11, 2013
March 5, 2013 Welcome to the world, PenPen.

April 2013

May 2013

June 2013

July 2013

August 2013

September 2013

Friday, September 27, 2013

The Original 30 Day Challenge: (Day 27) This Month, In Great Detail

These "This____, In Great Detail" topics are killing me.  This is probably one of my least interesting months, aside from last Saturday.  If you really want to know what I have been doing this month, then you can read the archive for September.  The only things not really mentioned are the items I ordered for the costumes PenPen and I will be wearing at NekoCon.  My day to day routine has been regular, for the most part.  Not that I am complaining.  The best thing when you have a baby is routine.  It keeps things running smoothly and guarantees daily down time. 


Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Original 30 Day Challenge: (Day 26) Your Week, In Great Detail

Ha.  I barely remember most of this week.  I had a panic attack at work because they didn't change the calendar from yesterday.  I spent a solid 3 minutes freaking out because I could not figure out how today was Wednesday and I was so sure it was Thursday.  Then a coworker pointed out that I was right and the calendar was wrong.  Great, like I need to be known as crazy at work.

I remember Saturday pretty well.  We took PenPen to a fall carnival thing that her daycare is associated with.  My mom was working one of the contest tables.  She was super excited to see us because she loves to show off PenPen to her friends and coworkers.  After that, we did our biweekly grocery shopping.  Then I had my friend Krystal, who will be accompanying me to NekCon, over for dinner.  We watched anime and she showed me the Chi costume and T.A.R.D.I.S. costume she is buying.  I introduced her to two of the five series that I felt ended to soon, Hataraku Maou-sama! and Princess Jellyfish.  Like me, she is always up for a cute boy anime.  

Sunday was pretty uneventful.  I played a couple of hour of Final Fantasy XIV in between PenPen's naps and daddy time.

I really don't remember much else about the week.  I go to work, come home, spend time with my daughter, then my husband.  

I will leave you with a funny screenshot from Ranma 1/2.  My husband joked that this is what inspires fan fiction.  And no, generally Ranma 1/2 is not that kind of anime.


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Original 30 Day Challeneg: (Day 25) Your Day, In Great Detail

The details won't be too "great" because I have had a long day and I am tired.  My current job is part time, so I normally don't have a lot of hours.  I don't mind because it gives me time to get errands run before I have to pick up PenPen and the husband gets home.  Today, though, I had to be in extra early.  This threw our normal routine out of whack.  Don't misunderstand me, I love my current job and I am happy to help, but  we still had to shift things. 

When I go in early, my husband takes PenPen to daycare.  This means she goes in way earlier than she normally does so he can make it to work on time.  I woke up at 6:40 a.m. today so I could help him get her ready.  I was suppose to be up at 6:30 a.m., but I didn't set my alarm right.  Thankfully, I only slept in 10 minutes.  I got PenPen's bottles ready, woke her up to change her, and gave her a bottle.  Once all that was done and Mike Awesome and PenPen were out the door, I was able to get myself ready for the day.  Then I took TokiDoki for her morning walk and munched down half a pop tart.

Work went by pretty quickly.  Once off work, I went to pick up PenPen from daycare.  I varies what time I pick her up, and I figured she had been there long enough since her day started so early.  She was super excited to see me, which is a nice feeling.  When we got home, I pulled her jumper in front of the kitchen so she could watch me load the dishwasher and clean the kitchen.  She only likes her jumper if people are actively engaging her while she ignores them to jump.  Go figure.


After the kitchen was cleaned up a bit, I decided to use my Baby Bullet to prepare PenPen some cucumber.  Her pediatrician advised that we only needed to try a new food for two days before we moved on to the next.  We have been plowing through quite a few.  More recently we discovered she dislikes zucchini and hates broccoli.   To be fair, I have to agree that the broccoli we had was not the best.  Anyway, she seems to enjoy cucumber.  That is good.  The list of "will eat foods" so far are peas, carrots, rice cereal, yogurt, applesauce, pears, cucumber, squash, peaches, plums, bananas, and avocados.  The next two things I want to introduce are kiwi and spinach. 


After I cleaned her face up, I let PenPen crawl around for a bit.  I popped Curious George on Netflix because she seems to love it.  So she is crawling around, occasionally stopping to watch t.v., and I am just chilling on the couch so I can keep an eye on her.  Well, while she is next to one of the legs of the coffee table she decides she wants to turn around.  Problem is that she turn in the direction of the table and smacks her head on the leg.  She didn't bruise herself or leave a mark, but she definitely felt it.  I picked her up for a bit to calm her.  Once calm, I fixed her a bottle and fed her while we continued to watch Curious George.  Towards the end of the bottle the tuckered out PenPen fell asleep.

Shortly after, Mike Awesome arrived home.  He changed into relax clothing and played with PenPen for a bit.  That is what queues my computer time, usually. Today I chose to use my computer time to play Bejeweled Blitz on Facebook.  I beat my high score, so I felt rather eventful.  I then took over PenPen duties so the husband could fix dinner.  We had grilled cheese and tomato soup.  I am not really keen on tomato soup, but I do enjoy a good grilled cheese sandwich.  We enjoyed episodes 9-12 of Ranma 1/2 on Hulu+ during dinner.  Afterwards I gave TokiDoki her last walk of the night and now I am here.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Original 30 Day Challenge: (Day 24) Whatever Tickles Your Fancy

My Cosplay Plans for NekoCon

Yep, I am going to cosplay for NekoCon.  Nothing horribly complicated, since I can't sew.  I figure that if I am going to dress my daughter up, then I should get into the spirit of things as well.

Saturday: Pinkie Pie's Gala dress
Saturday will be my Pinkie Pie costume.  I know this looks horribly complicated, but I was not the one who made it.  (Much love to Rose of May!)  I am really hoping not being pregnant this time around will make getting dressed easier.  (Also, shout out to Tokyo Sweet who made the earrings and necklace.)

Sunday: Fem 11th Doctor
Sunday will be my favorite Doctor, number 11.  I am not doing the fez, but I will be doing the bow tie and suspenders!  What fun.  I don't know about the jacket.  It all depends if I can find a cheap one at Goodwill because I am not paying $264 that ThinkGeek is charging.  Actually, everything in that pic is insanely expensive.  My costume will be a budget one. 

What do you think of my choices?

Name That Tune Tuesday: Counting Stars by OneRepublic

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Original 30 Day Challeneg: (Day 23) A Youtube Video

Online Dating in Real Life


This is a video where actors read actual conversations from dating sites in a bar setting.  The whole thing is pretty hilarious because the conversations translate worse than you could imagine in a real world setting.

Equestria Girls Dolls


I was pleasantly surprised by the Equestria Girls movie.  I am sure there may be those who disagree, but the movie was a fun look into an alternate universe.  I also enjoyed the anti-bully message.  Most of all, it made me excited for the toys.  The character designs were interesting, more so before they sprouted pony ears and wings.  (At least Rarity and Twilight never popped horns in "human" form.)  While shopping at Target, I happened upon the dolls I was oh so excited to see.  They were all pretty lack luster, but they do photograph well. . . except for Applejack.  She looks like she is right out of There's Something About Mary.

Sunset Shimmer and Twilight Sparkles

Rainbow Dash

Fluttershy

Rarity

Applejack

Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Original 30 Day Challenge: A Website



J!NX and Blizzard got together and made a fun website about a P.E.T.A. style organization in World of Warcraft called D.E.H.T.A.  It is an amusing way to promote merchandise.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Original 30 Day Challenge: (Day 21) A Recipe

This isn't much of a challenge for me since I have posted recipes on here a few times.  I'm not going to set this up like I do for Faux Kitchen Diva because I wasn't going to make waffles just so I could take pictures. These are recipes I got from the Betty Crocker website under Bisquick recipes.  I do suggest having a waffle iron for these if you want to make waffles instead.  I have never actually made the Applesauce Pancakes as pancakes, I always make waffles.

Applesauce Pancakes (link)

Ingredients:
  • 2 Cups Original Bisquick® Mix
  • 1 Cup Applesauce (I use cinnamon applesauce.)
  • 1/2 Cup Milk
  • 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 2 Eggs
 Instructions:

  1. Mix everything in a bowl.
  2. Heat your waffle iron, griddle, or stove top.  Griddle to 375 degrees, stove top to medium heat, waffle iron (if like mine) till the light is green.
  3. Use 1/4 a cup at a time.  Cook until outside is done.  

Apple Cider Syrup (link)

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp Original Bisquick® Mix
  • 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 2 Cups Apple Cider(I prefer apple juice.)
  • 2 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 Cup Butter or Margarine 
  • 1 Cup Sugar
 
Instructions:
 
  1. The original instructions don't work for me, so I will tell you what I do.
  2.  Mix everything together in a pot on high heat.
  3.  Stir constantly.  And I mean constantly.
  4.  Once the syrup thickens and bubbles, turn the heat down to medium.
  5.  Continue to stir for another 5 minutes. 

Friday, September 20, 2013

The Original 30 Day Challenge: (Day 20) A Hobby of Yours

I collect toys.  Mostly Barbie and vinyl figures, but anything I find awesome gets added.  A lot of stuff got boxed up until I can get a proper display case because of the baby.  Here are a few pictures with a small sampling of what I have.

Harley Quinn Pop! vinyl. Also Harley Quinn figure, Harley Quinn Barbie, tokidoki Cactus Kitty, tokidoki Cactus Pup, 2 tokidoki Unicornos, tokidoki Barbie.

tokidoki Cactus Kitty and Monsters Inc vinyl.

Alice in Wonderland Barbie (with Cheshire Cat), Harley Quinn Barbie, Lego Mr. Freeze Happy Meal toy, Fujiko Mine, Lupin III, and Star Wars Stitch as Yodo and  Goofy as Chewbacca.

My husband's Hellboy toy with my tokidoki Moofia vinyls.

tokidoki Barbie!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Original 30 Day Challenge: (Day 18) Whatever Tickles Your Fancy

Me in the center when I was around 22 years old.  This was at an Anime Festival Orlando.

Pretty sure this was taken the same weekend. 

Wish List Wednesday: FABRIC PAINT!

Glitter Fabric Paint ($13.99)
I am making a point to find more time for things like crafting.  Thanks to the time spent with my craft savvy grandmother when I was younger, fabric paint is one of my favorite supplies.  I have a starter set that I just bought for PenPen's T.A.R.D.I.S. costume.  I am also using it to paint my tokidoki DIY Unicorno.  There are so many colors and kinds of fabric paint that I think it will be a while before I have a good collection.

Glow in the Dark Fabric Paint ($10.99)

Neon Fabric Paint ($10.99)

Puffy Fabric Paint ($10.99)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Original 30 Day Challenge: (Day 17) An Art Piece

The statue can be found at the Cliff Lede Vineyard in Napa Valley.  I took this picture while I was there.

Name That Tune Tuesday: 2gether

One of the greatest boy bands of all time is actually a mock put together by MTV.  I believe I was in high school when their movie first aired.  It did so well that MTV got two albums and a television series.  While U + Me = Us (Calculus) was good, Breaking Up is personally my favorite.  Enjoy.


Monday, September 16, 2013

The Original 30 Day Challenge: (Day 16) A Song That Makes You Cry (Or Nearly)

This song doesn't make me want to cry, but it usually makes me rather depressed.  If you have never heard Same Auld Lang Syne by Dan Fogelberg, then it may not be the song for you.  Very much something from an "easy listening" radio station, but I like it all the same.


Sunday, September 15, 2013

Saturday, September 14, 2013

The Original 30 Day Challenge: (Day 14) A Non-Fictional Book

Bridal Bargains 
by Denise Fields and Alan Fields


I don't read a lot of non-fiction, so I wasn't sure what I should do.  Then I remembered Bridal Bargains.  I believe I had the 8th Edition, bought used from a friend.  It was honestly the best purchase of my entire wedding.  I read the entire thing.  The book goes through every aspect of the wedding planning process, from how to plan, how to budget, and how to not get ripped off.  Because of the advice in this book I was able to find the dress of my dreams from a designer, Alfred Angelo, for $500.  That is pretty cheap compared to what most dresses cost.  If you don't believe me, watch an episode of Say Yes to the Dress.  Using the advice from the book, I made a list based on importance for budgeting purposes.  That way I knew where I wanted to concentrate the bulk of my funds.  I also learned how to talk to vendors to get better deals.  As well as what time of year would be cheapest.  You can't escape all the stress from wedding planning, but this book helped me with the bulk of it.

My bridesmaids and I.

The groomsmen with my husband (second on the left).

Friday, September 13, 2013

The Original 30 Day Challenge: (Day 13) A Fictional Book

Alas, Babylon
By Pat Frank


I am going to make this short and sweet because I don't want to give too much away.  Alas, Babylon takes a unique look at what could have happened to the United States if the Cold War with Russia was less cold.  To the point, Russia drops a bunch of nukes on the U.S.  The setting is a small, kind of back woods town in Florida.  The main character is actually giving heads up about the impending doom by his brother, who work in the government/military.  The title of the book is the brother's code for "Shit is about to go down.  I am sending my family to you for safe keeping," because if you work with top secret matters you can't outright say that.  When the bombs drop, the people of the small town are able to see the mushroom clouds of what were Jacksonville, Tampa, and I believe the third was Miami or Fort Lauderdale.  After the bombs have dropped, the book becomes a character study of how various people would react and cope in a situation like this.  We are talking about a time before internet, cell phones, and most other communication.  Add the fact that they are basically trapped because every path out of Florida involves traveling through a nuclear wasteland.  You hear very little about the war, outside of the beginning and the ending of the book.  I think that is why I like the book, it is less about war and more about survival when everyone is possibly at their worst.

I discovered this book in high school.  My English teacher assigned the book to the class.  She did make note that the first few chapters are extremely boring, and she was right.  Very little is accomplished early on as to establish just how mundane everyone's lives were before the bombs.  The biggest challenge is getting to the dropping of the bombs.  Part of why I was able to drudge through it is because my teacher told me that she thought I would enjoy this book most out of anyone in the class.  I took that as a challenge, and I am forever grateful.  I truly enjoyed this book.  I also think the book hit a little close to home because I lived in Jacksonville, Florida at the time.  I had never taken much stock that I lived in a city full of naval bases until that moment. 

The end of the book gives you the satisfaction of knowing how the war ends.  Not too much detail is given, but the book never has you too heavily invested in the war itself.  I draw a few minor comparisons to the beginning of the newer BattleStar Galactica and parts of Independence Day.  That will make more sense if you read the book yourself.  With that said, I do encourage everyone to get a copy and read it.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Original 30 Day Challenge: (Day 12) Whatever Tickles Your Fancy

Five Anime Series That Are Too Short

Often times an anime is based off a popular manga.  I know it is far from uncommon, but it only becomes a problem when the series catches up to it's print counterpart.  There are a variety of way to handle this situation.  Both Naruto and Bleach have been known to have filler story arcs that are separate from their mangas to waste time while the original author catches up.  Full Metal Alchemist went as far as to just go off and finish the story on it's own.  When the manga ended up being drastically different, they just rebooted the series as Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood.  Other anime series attempt to end on as close of a finalized note as they can, though an obviously incomplete story, with what they have and just leave it at that.  Nana and Fruits Basket come to mind as the best examples.

While it can be rather frustrating, I don't mind a series falling off if you get a decent number of episodes out of it.  By decent I mean at least two full seasons.  I also don't mind a shorter series if everything is actually resolved.  Cowboy Bebop was only one season, but they gave the ending a very finished feeling.  FLCL is probably the best example, though, because the entire show is only 6 episodes.  Everything that needs to be explained is explained, not to say you won't have to watch the show at least twice to understand any of it.

The five anime I will be telling you about suffer the problem they they are too short.  When I say "too short"  I mean that the show is thirteen episodes or less and leaves too many loose end/lacks a feeling of accomplishment.  Being too short in itself does not mean these shows are bad or good, though it may have an effect on my final verdict if I was already less than thrilled.  This list is just what I have discovered within the last few months with my thoughts on each.  (Warning, some spoilers ahead!)

1. The Devil is a Part-Timer (Hataraku Maou-sama)- 13 Episodes


This is a series I absolutely love and was rather devastated when it ended.  It another universe the Devil is an actual entity who is conquering different countries.  You are given a brief overview of the history of the great battle and enter at the big fight between the Devil and that world's hero, a girl who is half angel and half human.  The Devil seems to be losing the battle, so he opens a portal to our universe and flees with one of his generals.  The Hero follows him through the portal as to finish him off.  When the Devil and his general arrive, they find themselves in modern day Tokyo unaware of the language or custom and in normal human bodies.  In order to survive, they attain fake identities and the Devil gets a part time job at WcDonalds.  (No, that isn't a typo.)  By the time the Hero finds him, the Devil has become acclimated to his life in Tokyo.  She informs him that she came to slay him, but if the Devil is willing to stay in this universe and continue on the lawful and harmless path he is on, then she will leave him be.  He declines her offer, stating that his job is just a stepping stone to taking over this world and then returning home to take over theirs as well. 

The show basically follows the Devil and the Hero as they adapt to their new surroundings and new roles in life.  New characters are steadily released through out at show and there are a few battles thrown in.  Only two of the battles are really big battles, neither of which feels like it is a show ending kind of climax.  The best comparison I can make about the battles is that its like Naruto.  The battles are not every episode, but when they happen they are rather over the top because of the kind of people involved.  With that said, I did not realize the final battle was the final battle.  It was no different that the previous big battle and I was still left when a lot of question.  I am really hoping there will be a season two and I am just incredibly out of the loop. 

2. Henneko: Hentai Prince and the Stony Cat- 12 Episodes


This anime is all over the place.  The synopsis on Hulu+ was covered and resolved in the first few episodes.  The main point is there is a stone cat statue for a cat god that grants wishes.  In the beginning they explain that you give the statue something you don't need and make a wish, which is one way it works.  Later you find that people are making wishes all over the place.  The real plot doesn't even surface until the last few episodes.  Not to say that they don't hint at it, but there is so much going on at once that you have no idea that you have no idea what they are eluding to.  There is a character that pops up about half way through that my husband and I were completely confused as to what was going on with her.  If you know the ending to the show, then you understand what they were attempting to do.  Actually, I am not really that worried about spoiling this part: the main character does not have all of his memories.  Add to it that the cat god decides half way through or so that is can possess people and shape shift.  The whole thing is really a mess. I don't think this particular show ended too soon, but it could have benefited with more episodes in the beginning and middle portions to flush out their true intentions.

3. My Romantic Teen Comedy SNAFU (Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Michigatteiru)- 13 Episodes


Over all this series was enjoyable.  In a way it is your typical high school Rom Com, but the main protagonists are by nature off putting people.  I like how despite trying to be polarizing characters you are still able to connect with the lead male.  He is an ass he knows darn well he is an ass, but in his all-knowing teenage wisdom being an ass is completely justified being an ass because having friends gets you nowhere.  As I said, it plays out like a typical high school anime in that 3 unlikely to become friends due in fact become friends, but there is a "dark" secret that could effect the friendship.  The secret is not even that big of a deal, but it is mentioned enough that I really wish there had been more pay off from it.  In the end, the series just ends with slight character development.  Nothing really changes in their lives or themselves.  It is a little slower paced, which is probably why it feels like it never really got anywhere.  No big love confessions, despite what the title suggests, no huge self discovery moments for the main characters, and a few loose ends are even left open.  I am not saying the show should have gone on forever, but another short season could have probably helped.

4. Princess Jellyfish (Kuragehime)- 13 episodes


One of my favorites on this list is Princess Jellyfish.  It is about a household of female otaku, yes female otaku.  The opening is the characters acting out various television and movie scenes, which gives you a sense of how the show will play out.  Like many otaku, their individual obsessions are a way to escape extreme social anxiety.   When I say extreme social anxiety I mean they can't even attend events for their interests because other people will be there.  The protagonist, Tsukimi, loves jellyfish because her deceased mother loved jellyfish.  In the process of trying to save a jellyfish at a pet store, Tsukimi meets a gorgeous girl who in actually a gorgeous boy in drag.  The story progresses as her new acquaintance, Kuranosuke, takes an interest in her and her housemates.  The main goal of the characters is reached by the end of the series, but there are many social aspects that are left open.  They do attempt to make it seem as though most of the interactions have met a proper conclusion, but the relationship (in a non romantic sense) between Tsukimi and Kuranosuke is really just beginning.  This is a series that I am contemplating picking up the manga just to see how much further things progress.

5. Nyan Koi!- 12 episodes


Another anime about a cat god and a stone cat statue.  In this one the protagonist, Junpei, accidentally breaks the cat god's statue.  Being a cruel god, he punishes Junpei by forcing him to grant the wishes of 100 cats or he will be turned into a cat himself.  This is a bigger deal for Junpei than most because he is allergic to cats, so turning into one would kill him.  To aid him in his quest he is given the ability to communicate with the cats telepathically. The show actually does well to fit everything into twelve episodes for the most part.  They do try to rush through the wish granting, and I don't blame them because a plot device like that can only take you so far.  The show even starts to dip into magical girl territory, which makes very little sense for this particular show.  You get the feeling everything is wrapped up at the end, only to be told it isn't because he hasn't helped enough cats to make 100.  The after the episode bit even starts to describe season two a little, only there is no season two.  This drove me absolutely batty.  I am assuming they thought they would get the green light for a new season and then got rejected.