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YouTube Video: Mad Libs Google What?

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This week’s video was a collaboration with a new friend and fellow YouTuber named Josh Jepson. We initially met at a Nintendo event and decided to team up for a few videos for our game channels, but upon finding out he also vlogs, we had to make use of that.

SO! In this new video, my Mad Libs series officially becomes a “thing”. Get ready for more Mad Libs. They’re coming.

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8 New Games I Learned on Tabletop Day

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That’s right – from someone who hates the act of learning a new game (“it’s so clunk and tedious, let’s play one we already know”) I went into Tabletop Day 2014 with only one rule:

We can only play new games.

I assumed this meant we would spend the day learning two or three, then spend the rest of the time hanging out, meeting people, making videos, etc. This is not what happened. What happened was that over the course of the day, across two different game stores and an attached bar, I learn EIGHT NEW GAMES. I still can’t believe it. And the best part was – I actually really enjoyed every single new game I learned!

So for this blog post, I’m going to very briefly summarize and review the games in case you want to try them out for yourself.

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1. Click Clack Lumberjack (played at 11:30am)

This game was awesome, and an absurdly simple game to start the day off with. It was explained to me as “reverse Jenga”, where you use the above hatchet to attempt to only remove the bark from the tree (which, really, seems like ineffective logging to me). The bark gains you points, but the inner circles (the tree’s guts) lose you 5 points if you accidentally knock them down. It was a silly, fun, and a good ice breaker. I played mostly with complete strangers.

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2. Locke & Key (played at 12pm)

This was a hand management style card game based on a graphic novel I haven’t read, but it looked awesome. You work with the other players to face “horrors” and collect keys that give you special abilities to open new gameplay options as the game goes on. I’ve played a few of these style games recently, and I think this one is my current favorite. It made me want to check out the graphic novel, so it’s doing something right!

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3. String Railway (played at 1:30pm)

I LOVED this game. I’ve never played anything like it before – the game consists of a bunch of pieces of different colored string, and you place them down on a map according to various “train station” cards you draw at the start of your turn. It sounds simple but gets impressively complicated as your world map fills up with string-trains. I think this was my favorite game of the day.

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4. Steam Park (played at 3pm)

This game was much more fun than I ever imagined it could be. I saw something about it online a few weeks ago, and read that it was “if Roller Coaster Tycoon was a board game”. That game was my jam as a kid, so I was totally on board for this. The premise is that you’re building a theme park for robots and you have to clear away the dust that accumulates as you’re building things. The art was adorable, it was a quick learn, and I’m hugely excited to add this to my personal game collection.

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5. Shadows of Brimstone (played at 5:30pm)

This is a game that a few of my friends and I kickstarted together a few months ago, and it’s not out yet. This was actually the first demo of the game ever, which is a big reason we chose Card Kingdom as our game store of choice for most of Tabletop Day. It’s a wild west, dice rolling dungeon crawl made by the same people who made Last Night on Earth, another favorite of mine. The game is huge – there are tons of miniatures that go along with it, the game board pieces are amazing and I really love that every character you can play comes in male and female. We demoed the game with one of the creators, which was a crazy awesome experience, though some of the cards were still hand-drawn. It kind of added to the thrill of playing it early! I can’t wait until this game is out for real and I can play at home.

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6. Donkey (played at 9pm)

After our Shadows of Brimstone demo (which took quite a long time) Joe and I packed up and headed over to Uncle’s Games in Bellevue for a change of scenery. Immediately we were pulled into a game of “Donkey”, a musical chairs or spoons inspired card game where you had to grab the puck in the middle as fast as you could when certain things happened on the cards in your hand. I’m particularly good at these sorts of games, so I had a blast with it.

62078W7. Castle Blast (played at 10:30pm)

This is a game that was set up behind up on a demo table, right outside the children’s games section. This game is meant for kids, but I had a really great time playing. You set up a castle made of blocks and then use the included wrecking ball to knock it down to steal a princess, dragon and treasure chest from inside. It was cute, and surprisingly difficult.

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8. Avengers vs. X-Men Dice Masters (played at 11pm)

At this point in the night I was ready to call it and go home to my warm snuggly bed (playing games all day really takes it out of you!) but Joe convinced me to try one last game. I’m super glad I did, because Dice Masters was fantastic. Imagine a deck-building game, but instead of cards you’re using dice. And all the characters and abilities are from the Marvel universe. It was easy enough to learn, and while the game isn’t quite out yet (it comes out next month), I heard it’s going to be dirt cheap, which is nice for a game that encourages buying more dice to build your ideal “deck”. Looking forward to it!

Did you learn any new games for Tabletop Day, or did you stick to old favorites? What was your favorite game of the day? Let me know in the comments!

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YouTube Video: Anna and Elsa Cosplay

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This is the video I have been so excited to share with you all – this one shows the Anna and Elsa cosplay my friend and roommate Eia and I made in action at Emerald City Comic Con!

We had so, so much fun waltzing around in our coronation dresses all day, and I think our shared favorite aspect of the whole experience was getting to meet so many little kids who thought we really were the characters from Frozen. We managed to capture a lot of that on camera, and it melts my heart every time I watch it.

We’re going to be compiling the best photos from the day on our brand new Deviant Art account, but those aren’t quite ready yet. I’ll keep you posted on when that’s available!

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YouTube Video: ECCC Haul!

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This past weekend was Emerald City Comic Con here in Seattle – one of my favorite conventions of the year. It topped record breaking attendance with over 70,000 people and went down in history as one of my favorite con experiences of all time.

I’ll be putting out another video soon with footage from the con itself and my thoughts on my first time cosplaying, but for now, here’s a haul video of all the sweet stuff I picked up in the vendor/expo hall. I’m a bit of a shopaholic when it comes to comic cons, so I went a little nuts. But I regret nothing! I just need more wall space for all my art!

What’s been your favorite convention purchase? I love supporting independent artists and most of the stuff on my walls is stuff I picked up from booths at comic con. Let me know what you can’t live without in the comments below!

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YouTube Video: Reasons It’s Cool to Be a Hufflepuff!

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Last week was ‘House Pride Week’ on Pottermore, and even though I don’t ever use the site anymore, I was still compelled to make a video for their event. I was, of course, a week late since I only found out about the whole thing via an @reply someone sent me on Twitter, but better late then never, right? I’ll blame it on my owl getting lost while bringing me information about the project.

Anyway, I made this video musing a bit on my thoughts about being sorted into Hufflepuff (since I’ve had three years to think it over) as well as giving some reasons as to why I’ve finally come around to it. Fellow Hufflepuffs will enjoy this video the most, but there’s a deeper message I think that can be related to by everyone. :)

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Where I’ll Be at Emerald City Comic Con!

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Emerald City Comic Con is this weekend and I couldn’t be more excited! This is definitely one of my favorite cons of the year – not only because it’s right here in my backyard (travel is so easy!), but also because it’s just totally fantastic. I’m going to be speaking on a few panels, exploring Artist’s Alley, and trying out my very first cosplay experience! If you’re also going to be there this weekend and you see me wandering around – please say hi! I’m pumped to get to meet some of you!

I’m only moderately busy at this convention, which should hopefully lead to a good mix of relaxing/hanging out and running around to get to things on time. In case you were curious where I’ll be at the con, here’s my personal schedule:

Friday: Nothing! A day totally to myself to hang out, walk around, meet people and go to panels!

Saturday: This is my big cosplay day. My roommate Eia and I are going as Anna and Elsa in their coronation dresses, and I am equal parts SUPER EXCITED and… a little nervous. If you see me walking around on Saturday, please feel free to talk to me or take a picture. We’re so pumped about these costumes and can’t wait to show them off.

I’ll also be on the following panels:

Makeup For Geeks at 3pm (Room 2B)
The geek-beauty channel I’m part of (OneUpMakeup) will be teaming up with Espionage Cosmetics and Atomic Cosmetics to talk makeup! It’s going to be a good one, with creative giveaways and fun geek banter – if you’re interested in makeup or beauty tips at all, I highly recommend attending!

The Couple The Games Together… at 5pm (Sheraton Issaquah Room – GAMING)
I am probably the most excited about this panel – Joe and I (along with three other fantastic geeky couples we know) will be talking about the trials and tribulations of being a couple that games together. I’ve never been on any panel like it, so it should definitely spawn some fascinating discussion about gaming with your s/o!

Sunday: Another relatively open day, thankfully! However, I will be at one event you won’t want to miss if you’re a fan of my web series…

Job Hunters Screening at 1pm (TCC LL2)
Season 2 is right around the corner, so why not prepare yourself by doing a re-watch of Season 1 with members of the cast and crew? We’re also going to be showing the teaser trailer for Season 2 on the big screen, which we’re pretty excited about. The space doesn’t allow for an official Q&A, but if you stick around after the screening and we’ll be happy to answer your questions – but no spoilers!

 

I’m also interested in attending the following events and panels (though I have nothing to do with them in any way… just a fan!)

Friday:

11:00am – Intro to Costume Craft and Cosplay [Room: TCC 302]

12:00pm – Cosplay Is For Everyone presents: Ani-Mia [Room: TCC 302]

2:00pm – ECCC presents Eliza Dushku [Room: MAIN HALL (6ABC)]

5:00pm – Punk Rock Business: A DIY Model to Releasing Your Own Tabletop Game [Room: GAMING (Sheraton Issaquah Room)]

6:00pm – ECCC presents Cary Elwes [Room: MAIN HALL (6ABC)]

8:00pm – Welcome To Night Vale Live Show and Thrilling Adventure Hour movie Sneak Preview [Room: MAIN HALL (6ABC)]

 

Saturday:

12:30pm – ECCC presents Andrea Libman [Room: HALL A (611-614)]

5:30pm – ECCC presents Cree Summer [Room: HALL A (611-614)]

8:00pm – NERDprov: The Return  [Room: HALL A (611-614)]

 

Sunday:

10:30am – Welcome to Night Vale: Turn On Your Radio and Hide [Room: HALL A (611-614)]

11:00am – IDW: The Super Secret Cartoon Network Panel [Room: TCC 301]

12:00pm - Feminism & Gaming  [Room: GAMING (Sheraton Issaquah Room)]

1:30pm – ECCC presents Jeremy Shada [Room: HALL A (611-614)]

4:00pm – ECCC presents Karen Gillan [Room: MAIN HALL (6ABC)]

 

Only a few more days! If you’re attending the convention, let me know in the comments below! Are you cosplaying? What are you most looking forward to?

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Secret Side Project for Wyrd – and Fall Schematic!

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Many of you saw pictures a while back from a secret project I flew down to NorCal to help out with and were dying to find out what it was for. Now that it’s released, I can finally tell you!

The super awesome costume/hair/makeup I got to wear on set.

The super awesome costume/hair/makeup I got to wear on set.

The project was a favor I did for Wyrd (the company that helped Joe and I make Jetpack Unicorn) and their new app-making company Drawn by Clouds. We were filming a fun little web series called “Dev” to help promote their Kickstarter – and it’s live now!

This project was a bit different from ones I’ve worked on lately, ie. it was very low budget and a little silly (but ultimately still a lot of fun). It was deliberately made to look amateur-ish to show the struggles of an indie game company trying to bring a game to market, and it shows the team (of which I play the extremely grumpy lead developer) getting their project ready for a fictional kickstarter that runs in tandem with the real one:


 

It’s pretty rough around the edges, but I love these guys and I super want their game to succeed. No matter what you think of the web series, I highly recommend you check out their game’s Kickstarter because Fall Schematic looks like it’s going to reach extreme levels of awesome and I can’t wait to play it.

 

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Ipsy Glam Bag Review: March!

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 My first thought upon receiving this month’s Ipsy bag was “ugh, what a terrible makeup bag design”. I immediately felt guilty, of course, when I read that this is the first month they’re starting to feature artist’s work on the bags. *facepalm* This month’s is from a piece called “Street Anantomy” by Klari Reis, and I’m sure it’s a lovely work of art usually – it just didn’t translate very well to a makeup bag (in my opinion). I really love this new idea though, and am very much looking forward to seeing the other styles of art they decide to feature on future bags.

Anyway, onward to the makeup!

NYX “Love in Rio” 3 Color Shadow Palette: Right away I didn’t like this product very much – the colors are all shiny and I tend to like at least one color in a palette to be matte, and the lightest one didn’t go on as evenly as I would have liked. It took me a bit longer than normal to make it look good, but once I finished my eye shadow, it did end up looking pretty nice. I don’t know how often I’ll use it though – why work that hard when other eye shadow brands are so much better to work with?

Pixi Flawless Beauty Primer: Before I started really getting into makeup about a year ago, I was totally clueless when it came to skin products. Foundations, concealers, powders – it’s totally overwhelming! In fact, I didn’t even know until very recently that primer was a thing you’re supposed to use on your face. For eye shadow, yes, but for the rest of your face? Who knew? Anyway, I’m still very much in the trial and learning stage of primers, so I was happy to get one in this month’s bag – but I don’t have much of an opinion yet. I do like Pixi products, so I’m hoping this one will be good. Generally with skin products, the only thing that really matters to me is whether or not it makes me break out, and that is yet to be seen. So, fingers crossed!

Chella Eyeliner Pen in “Indigo Blue”: This was a really interesting and fun product! I usually just wear boring old black eyeliner, because I really enjoy the pen style liquid applicators and they usually just come in black. I haven’t tried too many felt tipped eyeliners, but this one is quite nice and is a really vibrant blue. This is probably my favorite product of the month.

Bare Minerals Marvelous Moxie Lipstick in “Get Ready”: This lipstick is great. The color is lovely, it smells delicious and it doesn’t feel too sticky on my lips (which is always a deal breaker for me with lip products). I am exceptionally picky when it comes to what I put on my lips, so good job, Bare Minerals. Big thumbs up from me.

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This picture shows all four ipsy products for the month combined with my normal daily routine. Is it just me, or did Ipsy bags used to have five products? Either way, I was pretty pleased with this month and I hope they stay on this better track, especially through the summer. As always, if you want to get fun products delivered to you each month, you can sign up here! If you’re already a member of Ipsy, let me know which products you loved the most this month.

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The Smooth Leg Conundrum

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Have you ever been invited to the beach and just as you’re heading out the door, realized that “fuzzy” isn’t a strong enough word to describe the state of your legs? What about trips you go on in the winter, when “being beach ready” isn’t even something on your radar – and it turns out your hotel has a pool? No one’s gonna pass up a bit of pool time, but how do you handle those hairy legs?

I’m not saying it’s totally unacceptable to go au naturale – I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve thrown some nude tights over my unkempt legs and called it good. I am a walking ad campaign for shaving laziness since nine months out of the year, it’s really not necessary to even pay attention to your legs, as Seattle does us a solid and offers perpetual pants weather.

Thanks, Seattle! *high five*

Thanks, Seattle! *high five*

But those three months we DO get to bare our legs to the world, it is quite nice to be smooth as can be. And for the emergency moments when I know my legs will be mingling with the great outdoors and I wasn’t prepared, I’ve resorted to some funky solutions. Grabbing a crappy two blade razor from the front desk at a hotel, “borrowing” a razor from a friend and hoping she won’t notice, or even just grin and baring it – hoping no one will notice the two months of apathy growing out of my legs.

We carry around gum, lotion, sometimes even emergency toothbrushes for similar situations, but it was never very practical to carry around an emergency razor – until I found out about the Venus Snap! I realize this sounds very product placement-y, but at the same time, I have no problem talking about products that are legit lifesavers.

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These are so great. All the conveniences of a normal razor, in a cute little compact case that won’t raise as many questions as a normal loose razor would floating around in your bag. I can say with confidence that this will be a permanent staple in my travel bag, regardless of where I am going. You never know when you’re going to need it!

A few of my other favorite travel items, in fun little "airplane friendly" sizes.

A few of my other favorite travel items, in fun little “airplane friendly” sizes.

This discovery came at the perfect time, since I’ve spent most of this week getting ready and packing for a family trip to Vegas for my uncle’s 50th birthday party. It’s supposed to be in the 70′s and I heard our hotel has a pretty sweet pool. Bring it on, Vegas. My legs are ready.

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I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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