Goodbye 2013. Helloooo 2014.

I had a fantastic time in 2013! And while I am plotting my 2014 resolutions, here’s a brief recap of the fabulous time I had in 2013.

leslie-mark-disney

January 2013

Mark and I went to Disney World in Orlando, Florida on our first official vacation and our first trip to Disney World together. We’ve both been there before, but never together. It was incredible! We spent the night in Philadelphia with our friends Jess and Janelle, and toured the town on South Street. Then we flew down to Orlando where my grandpa picked us up and we had lunch in Downtown Disney. Over the next 4 days we toured the Animal Kingdom, Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, and Hollywood Studios. Mark and I loved the food in the Biergarten in EPCOT, as well as Expedition Everest in Animal Kingdom. The food and the weather were so incredible!

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March 2013

Farquharson and I began what would soon be an all out Internet phenomenon – the International Geek Girl Pen Pals Club! Now with over 2,500 Facebook likes, 6,000 site members, and almost 10,000 geek girls paired, this is truly a remarkable accomplishment and touching community to be a part of. From being retweeted by Veronica Belmont and Amanda Palmer, to making it onto Geek Sugar and Sword and Laser (and tons and tons of other blogs!), we’ve had our share of the geeky spotlight! So many great pen pal memories have been made for me, Farquharson, Em, Sparkles, and now Toasty who has joined our ranks (to help me in my hiatus while I work on my wedding stuff.) Thank you again Toasty, for stepping in while I work on this wedding stuff!

ebayenterprise
June 2013

I turned 28! Oh, and I also officially began working for eBay Enterprise! I am still with the same company of course, and we will always be Pepperjam. But our company has been noticed by some pretty big people, and we were purchased by eBay in June! Working for eBay has been so incredible. Here’s to 6 more years with this company!

iggppc-meetup

Aryn and I hosted a super successful IGGPPC (That’s International Geek Girl Pen Pals Club) Meet Up in NYC at The Way Station! It’s a Doctor Who themed bar. I ended up meeting one of my favorite friends, Tamara. She is just the best!  I met some increcible Iggles and Miggles, as well as gave out loads of geeky door prizes. You can read all about it here.

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July 2013

My niece, Madelyn, celebrated her 1 year! Wow, she is growing up so fast <3

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August 2013

Mark proposed to me in one of our favorite places: The PA Renaissance Faire! It was Time Traveler’s weekend, so as you can see in our picture, we put a Doctor Who spin on our Renaissance costumes. We toasted the occasion at the Swashbuckler’s Pirate Pub afterwards, drinking a hearty ale with our comrades. What an amazing place to say “YES!” The Faire grounds are covered in beautiful flowers, Renaissance tents and cottage-y buildings, and costumed actors portraying Elizabethan nobles and peasants. We spent the day snapping pictures, wine tasting with Bacchus, perusing the market for jewelry, and played some awesome carnival games. We brought home a lot of bottles of wine including my favorite Honey Mead, as well as the Pennsylvania Spiced Apple wine for the holidays. We’ve set the date for June 7, 2014 and are planning a Renaissance wedding! We sent out our Save the Dates a few weeks ago, and they were as dorky as you can imagine.

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I met up with some of my geek girl blog buddies, including KristinJamila, Yissel, Melissa, and Cassie. We had a blast drinking too many mimosas and stumbling around the geekiest of stores in New York City. What a blast!

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October 2013

Mark and I celebrated our 3 year dating anniversary – again, in Disney World – and Universal Studios! We just can’t get enough! We spent the day at EPCOT with my family, again chowing down on the delicious German buffet food in the Biergarten. We spent the day in Universal Studios, where I was amazed to see the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I am a huge Potterhead, and this park was a dream come true. For a fangirl like me, it was an unparalled experience. The props and attention to detail were so immersive. If you go, you have to ride the Forbidden Journey and try to Butter Beer. It’s just as delicious as they say. Read more about my Wizarding World experience here: Hoofing it through Hogsmeade We also went to Hollywood Horror Nights, which was Mark’s favorite. We were practically in an episode of the Walking Dead, as they had movie quality zombies chasing people around the park. We screamed our way through the Resident Evil and Cabin in the Woods haunted houses, which were just like being in the films. 2 severed thumbs way way up!

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It was also the second year for NEPA BlogCon, NEPA’s only blogging and social media conference. I am so blessed to work with the super talented techy women and squirrel girls, Karla, Mandy and Michelle.  This year’s conference was extremely successful, sold out again, and brought in $2,700 for our charity of choice, a no-kill animal shelter, Blue Chip Farms Animal Refuge. not only did we help out a great cause, but we educated our home town on the awesome benefits of being digitally dialed in and social networking savvy. We’re pretty much e-prodigies, we know. I can’t wait until next year! Stay tuned in fall 2014 for NEPA BlogCon Round 3!

wreck-it-ralph

My co-workers at eBay Enterprise and fellow graphic designers, Alan, Jordan, and I donned an incredible Wreck It Ralph group costume for Halloween. I love going all out for my favorite holiday! Read more here about my Vanellope Von Scweetz cosplay.


November 2013

The Larpettes hit 1,000 members! What a milestone! Find badges and gear here. The Larpettes is an online community which allows girls to discuss and connect with other female Larpers!

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December 2013

I was one of the top 100 contributors to the Buzzfeed Community this year! So award, wow much view. Check out my awards!

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Battlestar Galactica Seal Sweatshirt from Her Universe

As I’ve said many times… one of the best perks of being a blogger is being able to do reviews of products I love. Her Universe is a brand I am a huge fan of – for the quality and content! Today I’m modeling a gorgeous Battlestar Galactica Seal crew neck sweatshirt from the leader in geek girl couture, Her Universe.

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Wearing the Battlestar Galactica Seal Sweatshirt from Her Universe

The story behind Her Universe is a fairy tale for all girl sci-fi fans. The brand was launched by Ashley Eckstein, voice of Ahsoka Tano from Star Wars: The Clone Wars TV show. If doing the voice for a character in the Star Wars universe isn’t enough to prove her geekiness, Ashley knew that there was a demand for geek girl sci-fi gear too. Girls aren’t the stereotypical fan of sci-fi, and Ashley decided to do something about it. She launched Her Universe to tailor geek garb to women and girls. And I’m very thankful!

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I’ve been a huge fan of the revamp of Battlestar Galactica, and have been plowing my way through the 1978 series as well. The universe is delightful, starting with the overall world that contains Twelve Colonies of Kobol. Each colony shares a name with a house of the zodiac (Caprica, Sagittaron, Gemenon, etc.) and each colony has its own unique economic and social structure, but all are connected by the fact that humans survive in all of them, and try to fight or survive the Cylon uprising.

Cylons are pretty awesome, and a take on robots I quite love. They combine the terror of SkyNet – that is, robots who have gone above and beyond humans’ intention, and are growing stronger and smarter than their designers, as well as the charm of Bicentennial Man – in that they believe they are human, have feelings, and some do not know they are Cylons. It’s kind of heart breaking, watching couples in love being torn apart by the discovery that one of them is a Cylon. It begs those basic questions all humans are challenged with. Am I a real person, or am I programmed to have these feelings because I am a Cylon? Do I have free will? Did I ever really love anyone? Where do I go from here? I get chills imagining that horrid reality check of waking up to discover that you’re a Cylon…

I had to rock my Cylon inspired robot necklace, as well as my bright yellow skirt and purse to add a splash of color to this black and white sweatshirt. Perfect for the 50 degree weather we’ve been having in my hometown. I ordered a size Large because I love my sweatshirts big and cozy, but it seems to fit just right. And I know the price tag is Cylon approved at a clearance rate of just $20! I ordered mine on Black Friday, and was gifted a unique Star Wars pin, numbered and signed by Ashley herself. #17 baby! It’s an adorable Darth Vadar wearing a Santa hat, but I am sure I will be rocking it year round.

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Be sure to check out Her Universe for ALL your geek girl couture needs, including designs from Doctor Who, The Talking Dead, Star Trek, and various of Syfy shows! So say we all.

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Wedding Planning 101: Picking the Date

Wedding Planning 101

Er mah sweet fluffy gerd! You just got engaged! And much like me, I am sure you feel like a confused mess. What the lump are you supposed to do now? Since I’m going through the chaos, I figured I’d blog through the chaos too. Here are my best tips and tricks for wedding planning as an engaged couple!

Step 1: Picking the date.

So what do you do after you change your Facebook relationship status, watch the “likes” and “congrats” roll in, and call your close friends and family to squeal with them over the news? You pick the date of course! Here are my tips for this giant detail.

  • If you want any part of the wedding, including pictures, to be outside, consider your local area and what might be happening outside during that time.
    Here in northeast Pennsylvania, it gets hella hot in July and August, and snowy in October and November. I really didn’t want to be all red and sweaty in my wedding pictures. I also really didn’t want to deal with it being too cold either. We settled on June 7, because we think it won’t be too hot or too cold. We also picked June because the beautiful flowers are in bloom, so they will make my outdoor wedding photos lovely. We opted not to have flowers at the wedding, because they are expensive and will die in a week, so this is a nice, cheap way to get some flowers in the pictures.

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Some people are weird and might want to get married in a downpour.

  • Run the date by people you have in mind for your bridal and groomal party.
    You probably have a special kid in mind for flower girl, or an old college roommate in mind for your bridesmaid. So keep in mind their schedules and run the dates by them – without telling them you’ve committed to having them in the wedding, just yet. I really wanted my 9 year old niece and 7 year old nephew from 3 states over to be the flower girl and ring bearer, so I chose to have my during the summer, when all my family members in school would be on vacation.
  • Consider other family members birthdays, holidays, and special events you may want to work around.
    Having your wedding the same weekend as your grandma’s 75th birthday might not be the best idea. You should check your calendar, and find out if it’s any kind of National Holiday as well. These might impact your guests travel time, or even give someone an extra day off that weekend – for example Memorial Day or Labor Day would give guests that Monday off… or *insert cultural holiday from whatever country you are from that isn’t the USA.* My sister had her wedding on Labor Day weekend, and the out-of-town guests loved having off on Monday to travel home, and get an extra day in with the family.

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If you have to have ALL THESE GIRLS, then make sure they’re ALL FREE. Man… that’s a lot of Bridesmaids.

  • Pick a date that could coincide with when you want to take your honeymoon (or how cheap you want it to be).
    If you’re looking to take a luxurious cruise or fly to Europe for your honeymoon, you can really save some money by traveling in the off season. So if you don’t mind getting married in the wedding off season, you’ll save a nice chunk of change by flying or cruising in the off season as well.
  • Some wedding venues offer super deep discounts for weddings on certain days or times.
    If you’re set on having it at a certain venue, but the price is making you ill, ask about having it on a weird day. Sometimes brunch or afternoon weddings can be half the price of a night time event, as well as a Sunday or weekday wedding. This funky day can help you pick a date that saves you a good couple of bucks.
  • Pick a date your priest or pastor can make it. If having a certain person officiate the ceremony is important to your or your religion, be sure to ask Pastor Joe before setting a date. Or if you don’t want a priest, just have a computer do it.

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They really wanted an Imperial Officer to officiate their wedding. From the Official Star Wars blog.


Stay tuned for more Wedding 101 tips, and feel free to leave a comment offering your best tip for choosing the big day!

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Who’s That Geek? It’s Chris Torres!

I love me some Nyan Cat! Meow! So when I emailed PRGuitarman and practically offered him my left kidney if he’d do an interview with me, I got a totally sweet response back. Chris Torres is the man behind the pixelated poptart sensation, Nyan Cat. And lucky me, I got a chance to ask him all those burning questions I have had buried inside. Chris has done a few other interviews, so I really wanted to get the scoop that no one got. Hopefully I somewhat accomplished that.

First question…. can I get a run down on WHO you are? We all know your name is Chris Torres, but where are you from, and what do you do professionally? Oh, and how old are you!

I’m 26 years old and live in Dallas, Texas, born in Puerto Rico. I love art, The Internet and am kind of a homebody and shy in person but try to be outgoing in whatever situation I’m in.

Professionally, I actually recently resigned from my 9-5 office job and have been making my art business a full time thing. I’m very happy with the decision, even though it was kind of a crazy one, but know I made a good choice.

What is a “P R Guitar Man?” Do you play guitar?

My screen name is now more of an ironic thing to me. I made it maybe 13 years ago back when I was on AOL and DSL was the NEW thing. A friend and I bought some used guitars and thought we could totally make a band or something, so I changed the screen name to fit that occasion because I thought it was going to be a big thing. The PR stands for Puerto Rican, but it can also stand for Public Relations since I do that online, too.

I no longer have the guitar but keep the name around since so many people know me by it now. It’s my Internet identity, it’d be difficult to change it up.

How did Nyan Cat come about? What exactly were you trying to accomplish when you created this darling GIF?

Nyan cat originated back in my webcomic, LOL-COMICS, back at PRGuitarman.com. I’ve been doing comics since I was in middle school and are based off experiences in my life. I’ve made several comics about my cats, particularly my Russian Blue named Marty.

It's Marty!

One day, I was doing a charity Livestream event for The American Red Cross and I asked people what they think I should draw. What resulted was me choosing “Pop Tart” and “cat” from that list and combined them together in a hurry

The Original Nyan Cat

I had been experimenting with 8 bit designs, so a few days later I decided to take a crack at it and turned it into the 8 bit graphic we all know today. I honestly wasn’t expecting anything out of it aside from getting a new Twitter avatar from it. I t went unnoticed on my site for a few days before uploaded to YouTube by SaraJ00n and it’s all history from there.

When did you first know Nyan Cat was a super Internet phenomenon?

Maybe around the time the YouTube video hit 1 million views. Back then, I thought one million was huge! Nothing I’ve ever done before has been able to Generate the same number of hits. Also, when people started showing me photos of strangers dressed up as nyan cat at conventions. That was awesome, too.

Have you heard of any famous people or pseudo-celebs loving on (or hating on) your Nyan Cat masterpiece?

Off the top of my head:

  • Conan O Brien used a parody called Conyan on his show a few times
  • Jimmy Fallon has used it on his show MULTIPLE times and has even danced on stage to the song.
  • Both Skrillex and Deadmau5 love using it in their work. Skrillex uses it constantly in his shows. I’ve talked to both of them and they’re really cool people
  • Jenna Marbles dressed up as Nyan Cat for Halloween and seems to love everything about it.
  • Mark Hoppus seems to love it, too, because he currently has a huge Nyan Cat that accompanies him on stage during his new tour.
  • Got to meet Hannah Hart from My Drunk Kitchen and not only is she absolutely delightful, but she loves Nyan Cat, too

Holy macaroni that is a lot of famous Nyanners I have never heard about… I am sure you’ve seen the many various Nyan Cat spin offs like What’s your favorite Nyan Cat spin off?

There are so many! It’s so hard to choose. Oh god, okay, I’d have to say my favorites are a tie between the Smooth Jazz Nyan Cat and Stray Cat.

OMG Stray is so sweet I want to cry Q.Q So, what are your personal favorite Internet creations, GIFs or videos of the moment? (Not created by you of course)

There’s so much new stuff everyday it’s hard to choose a favorite anymore! Some personal favorites of mine are Scumbag Steve and Keyboard Cat. Also, I usually love GIFs with cats in it, or people getting in funny accidents. Then there’s this gif

I adore Keyboard Cat… that song is too catchy. And that gif just made me go O_____O So, what’s your homepage?

My main comic page is PRGuitarman.com, but I’ve been without a working computer for a whole so I haven’t been able to make new comics. I’ve retreated over to Twitter.com/PRGuitarman, where I retweet cat images and ironic things.

Some slight internet stalking allowed me to discover you are a comic/cartoon lover from back in the day, having created “inside joke” comics among your friends in Middle School. What sort of recurring characters did you have in your original comics from “back in the day?” Any hilarious memories or stories about this experience?

My comics from middle school were so dumb, now that I look back at them. They mainly featured teachers I didn’t like put in funny situations, a series with a stick figure guy that just laughed at people, and funny banter between friends. I think the only character that has migrated over to my new comics is my Sun character. It’s just a drawing of the sun being a character that the main protagonist talks to, but can be a jerk at times.

However, my time making comics in high school taught me How to fit humor into four simple frames. Back in school, friends didn’t have much time to read my comics since they weren’t allowed in class so I had to keep things quick and simple. I think my style has adapted to that formula.

Your 4 panel on Valentine’s Day is spot on hysterical. What cartoons or cartoon characters inspired you, or do you just love? From when you were younger, or now! How about comics?

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Source: Nickeldeon

Nickelodeon’s Doug was a big inspiration in my youth for his “slice of life”, yet completely ridiculous imagination scenarios he’d get into. I’ve always had an over active imagination like him.

Rocko’s Modern Life was great, too, because it features a main character that’s always put in a bad situation and we as an audience are just supposed to laugh at his misfortune, yet root for him as the underdog.

I was big into Nickelodeon as a kid!

Oh god yes, Doug and Rocko were both amazing classics. Love them both! Who are your cartoon or comic artistic role models?

regular-show
Source: FanPop

Currently, I love Buttersafe, Nedroid, Natazilla and Penn Ward from Adventure Time, Regular Show, and Saturday Morning Breakfast cereal.

What’s your favorite food and drink?

PIZZA! And I enjoy Coke Zero. Usually both Pizza and soda together is all you need to make me happy.

What’s the coolest opportunity you have gotten from the Nyan Cat fame?

Honestly, the best opportunity I’ve gotten from Nyan cat is to be a part of something that people all over the world love and recognize. It’s turned into a really strong entity and I love how people use it to spread love in their own ways. That, and it’s given me the opportunity to travel, which I’ve never really done before, and it’s lead me to meet a lot of cool new friends both online and offline. Finally, and this just happened very recently, but I was just approached by JAKKs Pacific, one of the top 5 toy dealers in the world , and long story short they’re working with me to release Nyan Cat toys! That has been one of my life long goals and I still can’t believe it’s happening. It’s an awesome feeling to know your work is appreciated that much!


Thanks to Chris for being an original and creating this fantastic meme and icon we’ve all grown to love over the years. What memes do you adore? Leave them in a comment!

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Chicks from cartoons whom I adore!

  • Noodle from the Gorillaz: Japanese-born adorable-san has a back story that would cause anyone to giggle. She was dropped on Murdoc’s doorstep in a FedEx crate with no memory of her past. She suddenly regains her memory at the slip of the phrase, “Ocean bacon” (WHAT?!?!) A musician and a secret government soldier, Noodles is equal parts adorable and badass. …Oh and she’s a fan of Miyazaki to boot. …AND Miho Hatori of Cibo Matto has done her voice. She is epic ultimate amaze.
  • Ginger from As Told By Ginger: She’s the all-American sensitive sweetheart. Constantly journaling her feelings, she’s trying to find her place in the world (aka Junior High) and establish some kind of a credible reputation aside from Complete Geeky Loser. (which I can always relate to) She’s paired with her bestest pals who have their own quirky adorableness (OMG Macie is so freaking adorable as the little seal girl.) She’s attempting to juggle the demands of a mother-in-need with her desire to break into the, well, “popular” group. Funny but sentimental and sweet, it’s a cartoon I have always loved.
  • Wednesday Friday Addams from The Addams Family: Her first appearance was in 1938, which makes her the oldest cartoon I totally love. Her macabre sarcastic wit is ultimately completely loveable. She’s teeny weeny but wise beyond her years in some of her representations. In the 60’s TV show, she’s adorably spooky, with aspirations of being a ballerina who also raises pet spiders. But her gimmick in the movies is she does not smile no matter what. She was one in a million in a culture of peppy pop stars, and a lot of young freaks certainly looked to her for inspiration in being -just- a little different from the rest.
  • Mandy from The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy: Mandy is a huge bitch. I can’t really sugar coat that, she really really is. She’s smart and sassy – but cynical and moody. Her best friend Billy, has the blissful ignorance of a stupid dog who doesn’t know what else to do but hang around it’s owner. Mandy, his “best friend,” puts up with his brainless antics in a less than subtle way. She’s bossy and constantly berates Billy for being, well, a Billy. She’s also adorably manipulative and exploitative. She’s just bitchin.
  • Jane Lane from Daria: Jane has always appealed to me for 2 reasons. She is hilariously sarcastic and she is le artiste. Her style beckons to beatnik, mod poets with a hint of gothy anti-conformity. Which of course is a central theme of Daria. Not fitting in, not giving a flipping (insert explicative here), and letting the world deal with it as they will. Jane wants to be an artist but is troubled by the concept of going to art school to be “taught” how to be creative. Isn’t that sort of not the point? She has one good friend, which is plenty for her, who shares her hatred of humanity. She is the embodiment of a confused coming-of-age artist… who also wants to punch people in the face as hard as she can.
  • Bubbles from the Powerpuff Girls: OMG BUBBLES! She is basically the most adorable-sauce thing ever in existence. Her simple sweetness and naivite will not be tainted by this world’s Naysayers and Negative Nancies! She does what she wants! She is the joy and the laughter! She colors with crayons! Her best friend is a stuffed animal: Octi the octopus! And she sees the good in everyone, even if they are bad, evil, awful villains whom she shouldn’t be trusting. She’s the ultimate sweetheart and there is no reason that anyone should ever say ANYTHING bad about her. If they do, I will hunt them down… *fist shaking*
  • Judy Funnie from Doug: Last, but certainly not least, we have the theatrical older sister of Doug Funnie. She’s dramatic and totally into costumes. (Gee, I wonder why I like her?) She has a token black trunk full of theatrical garb and is very into performance art. She constantly sports her French beret and sunglasses (nothing says cool like a beret and sunglasses…) and is the ultimate moody artist. Which is why, of course, I love her.


Which cartoon chicks do you love?

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