1. Americans Try Snacks from Israel!

    June 24, 2015 ♥ Posted in: Food, YouTube videos by Kristina Horner

    These videos are growing to be my new favorites – Joe and I have had many chances to try snacks from foreign countries lately, and it’s been a ton of fun. The newest adventure? Israel.

    Thanks to Universal Yums, we got an entire box of fun snacks to check out. We definitely still want fans to send us things if people are interested, but it was neat to take a look at a subscription service doing a similar thing. Check out our video and tell us what you think!

    Leave a comment!
  2. Halloween Party Photo Dump

    November 3, 2014 ♥ Posted in: Food, Geek Events, Journal by Kristina Horner

    Hello, lovely blog readers! I know we’re well into November by now, but I still wanted to share with you a few photos of our Halloween party. Halloween is a big event around here for my housemates and I – we’ve thrown a party each Halloween since 2008; it’s automatic now. Halloween rolls around, we throw a party. It’s always big, loud and tons of fun.

    This year’s didn’t disappoint! We turned on those black-lights, cranked up the tunes and opened our doors!


    This is the one day of the year we actually put our built in bar to use! This is where we stuck chips and all the various bottles of booze, mixers and beer.



    This was the ‘fancy drinks’ table. We reused our Unicorn’s Blood recipe from last year’s Harry Potter party (Blue Hawaiian Punch and whatever vodka you have lying around) in our punch fountain, vodka gummy worms (dear lord these were strong) and radioactive green test tube shots (pineapple juice, sour apple shnapps, dragonberry rum and a few drops of green food coloring).



    This was our food table! This year we had the Mummy-Rollups (weenies wrapped in crescent rolls), graveyard dip (standard 5 layer dip with tombstone shaped “headstone” crackers) and orange pumpkin-shaped rice krispies treats.


    IMG_7474 Finally, it wouldn’t be a party without good ‘ol Aragog. It felt like old times, having our little spider friend watching over the festivities.



    How was your Halloween? What did you do? What’s your favorite Halloween snacks or drink? let me know in the comments, and I hope your Novembers are off to a great start!


    Leave a comment!
  3. October Video Round Up!

    October 15, 2014 ♥ Posted in: Books, Cosplay, Food, YouTube videos by Kristina Horner

    I’ve been trying my hardest to make it up to you guys lately that I took such a long blogging break by making it really easy to find everything I created in the absence. Between my cosplay news, books I’ve read and videos I’ve posted, I’ve been a busy little bee!

    Today’s blog post will give you a round up of the most noteworthy videos I’ve made in the last month or so, starting with this GeekGirlCon Candyland video I posted yesterday!


    I am quite proud of it, and my friends were all such good sports for being involved. I love showcasing the things that make me happy for others, and I think this video did that perfectly.

    Next was this hilariously exciting Snack Exchange video I filmed with Joe – we had organized a collab of sorts with a couple living in Korea named Evan and Rachel. They sent us a big box of Korean snacks in exchange for a box of American foods they missed from home.


    We had a BLAST trying everything. Some of it was weird, some was absolutely disgusting… but a lot of it was really great! Thanks again, Evan and Rachel!

    The last video I want to share with you is my FALL BOOK HAUL! I can’t get enough of books and reading lately and this is my newest stack of stuff to read.

    I can’t wait to get through many of these, and October has been a big reading month for me. I’m only 2 books away from hitting my 30 book goal for 2014! You can bet I’m gonna raise that goal next year – 30 was easy!

    I hope you enjoyed my videos, and I’ll be back soon with some more October/Halloween fun!

    Leave a comment!
  4. Look #27: Date night and birthdays

    January 24, 2014 ♥ Posted in: Fashion/Beauty, Food, Geek Events, Journal by Kristina Horner



    Mine and Joe’s birthdays are less than a month apart, so we decided to find a way to celebrate them both (with each other) around the same time, creating two fun-filled days of nonstop celebrating. It started with a surprise bloody mary and brunch early on Tuesday, organized by Joe. I used the outing as an excuse to wear my brand new dress from Forever21 and my favorite Bandmate Bootie in Red from ModCloth. Also pictured is my brand new iPhone case, which I love, from DandyCase on Amazon


    We got to try 3 different bloody marys – this one is called the “Bloody Pirate”. See the sword? And the cannon ball?

    Joe knows me so well – I saved Tuesday night for whatever he had planned, but he told me to leave the morning open instead (because he knew I’d love breakfast food and bloody marys even more). He was right.

    His birthday party was next (which I put together) and it included a homemade game he pretended to roll his eyes at but I think he secretly loved it. I was quite proud of my creation.


    My only regret is that I didn’t take an “after” picture. Not a single person even got close. It was a facial hair travesty, believe me. Overall it was a relatively low-key birthday, but I think everyone had a really great time. Good friends, good food, games, and music – sometimes the best parties are simply the ones where all of your favorite people end up in the same room. I’m so thankful to have the friends I do and I’m glad I have Joe to share these important moments with.


    Leave a comment!
  5. The Camlann Village Experience

    January 5, 2014 ♥ Posted in: Food, Geek Events, Journal, Travel by Kristina Horner


    Welcome, blog readers, to the Camlann Village Experience. What is Camlann Village, you ask? Well, only the quickest way to be transported back to 1376, to rural life in England. WHY would you want to experience rural life of the fourteenth century? Um, fun, obviously.

    Last month my friends and I donned our warmest Renaissance gear (mind you, we go to Renaissance Faires usually in the general sweltering range of ninety to on hundred degrees, so this was no easy task) and piled in the car to head out to Carnation, WA, to the medieval living history museum known as Camlann. It’s a 501 non-profit educational corporation and it’s also the coolest place you’ll ever go. It’s also delightfully weird.

    Let me preface this review by saying there is no technology of any kind allowed inside Camlann Village. This place takes itself TOTALLY SERIOUS with a capital “Thee”. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if the owner felt a little twinge when patrons come in wearing glasses. That picture at the top of this post is so strange because we were literally asked to go outside to take it. In the rain. At night.

    So, Camlann Village is open for various over the course of the year and their restaurant, the Bors Hede is open year round. We, however, were attending one of their choice Medieval Feasts, an event I recommend to all. This particular feast was of the Yuletide persuasion; myself and Ariana had been before but none of our friends had. Forty people sit around a large circular table set up in the basement of the restaurant to enjoy a three course meal served on trenchers – round slabs of bread used in the stead of a plate. If you eat your trencher, you’re out of luck for the remaining three courses of the meal. Also, there’s not really any silverware. I truly wish I could have taken a picture of this for you, but you’ll have to use your imagination here. Just like we’re back in the 1300’s! There was no way I was risking taking my phone out down there. I don’t for one second doubt they had some sort of medieval torture room for technological transgressions.

    I would say about half the people in attendance dressed up. For the rest, there was either a costume rental area or the knowledge of sticking out like a sore thumb. No, I’m joking – it’s totally fine to not dress up, but it really does complete the experience.

    The food was awesome and perfectly period appropriate. The queen of course got to taste everything first, and then dishes were passed around to her right and left after she deemed them worthy of our meal. We alternated between sawing into a whole boar, sampling strange almond puddings, and sneaking seconds of the delicious fenberry pie. My personal favorite was the almond fritters. There was spiced wine poured between each course and I found it delightfully strange as well that whole spices were given out to cleanse the palette near the end of the meal.

    Of course no banquet feast is complete without a show, and the mid-course entertainment was surprisingly good. We had minstrels and storytellers and strange instruments I had never heard of before. Most of the entertainers and drink pour-ers didn’t take it quite as seriously as the guy who runs the place – but in a good way, in a “we’re all experiencing this strange thing together” kind of way. I got a few winks. Right after noticing my cup was filled to the very top. Score!

    In conclusion, going to Camlann Village is one of my favorite things to do with a group of friends around the holidays. I can’t speak for everyone, but I love putting myself in vaguely strange and unusual situations, and the Yuletide Feast doesn’t disappoint. You will feel uncomfortable, you will eat things that look strange, but overall you will have an amazing night you’ll never forget. And at the end of it all, I promise, you really wont miss your phone all that much. Because strange as it is, it’s nice to just experience things every once in awhile. Don’t get me wrong: I love me some phone pics to commemorate everything I do, but I’ll have the memories of Camlann forever either way.

    Leave a comment!
  6. I Made This: Beef Stroganoff!

    November 6, 2013 ♥ Posted in: Food, Kristina Makes Things by Kristina Horner

    Hello again, my bright and bushy tailed students. I am your ignorant and broke twenty something blogger posing as a teacher… let’s begin. On the menu today is Beef Stroganoff. One of my favorites.

    I know next to nothing about cooking meat, so I decided it’s a darn good time to learn. Rather than cheating and using ground beef, as lots of recipes suggest, I went full on loin steak, guys. I took it to the next level.


    • 1 package of egg noodles
    • 2 tablespoons of butter
    • 1/2 onion, chopped
    • 2 cloves of garlic, also chopped
    • 1 package of mushrooms, sliced
    • 1 lb of beef loin steak, cut into small pieces
    • 1 can of beef consomme (14 oz)
    • 1/4 cup of red wine
    • 2 tablespoons of flour, as needed
    • Cold water, as needed
    • 1/2 cup of sour cream

    The first thing you do is start cooking the noodles. They take forever, so get those started first. I trust you know how to boil pasta, so you’re on your own for that one.

    Then, we start the sauce! Melt the butter in a large saucepan, then start adding the more solid ingredients. This includes the onions and garlic to start. Once your eyes start watering from the onions, you know it’s time to add the mushrooms. Cook the mushrooms for a couple of minutes before adding anything else.

    Next is the beef. Place the pieces of meat in the saucepan and cook until they start turning a bit brown. I’d guess about 3-4 minutes.


    Now come the less solid ingredients. The meat/mushroom/garlic/onion mixture probably already looks delicious, but it’s not sauce yet. At this point, mix in the beef consomme, wine and lemon juice.


    Oh no, you ruined it! That’s not what it’s supposed to look like! Just kidding – it has to get super watery before we can make it the creamy stroganoff sauce we’re used to. Trust me. This is called making something from scratch, suckas. Check that off your bucket list.

    Bring everything to a boil, and in the mean time, start making your flour/water mixture. Blend the cold water and flour in a small bowl until it’s totally smooth. IMG_5334

    This is the tricky part. Reduce the heat of your saucepan to low, and stir it constantly while slowly adding the flour-water. I found this was literally impossible to do with one person, so find someone to help you if possible. It won’t seem like you’re doing much, but this will start to thicken your sauce. Trust me. Once you’ve poured it all in, gradually return the sauce to a boil and let it cook for another five minutes, stirring occasionally.

    This is another one of those classic boring waiting parts of cooking, so this also is a good time to drink some of that wine you had to buy for the recipe. What! It’s for cooking!


    The very last step is to mix in the sour cream, but you shouldn’t do this until the sauce has had a bit of time to cool. Take your sauce off the heat, drink some more wine, and after another five minutes or so – mix in the sour cream. NOW it looks like Beef Stroganoff, right? See, what did I tell you.


    This recipe would make even your mom proud. That’s two meat dishes down – I’m on a roll! Maybe someday I’ll actually try poultry! (Let’s not get carried away though… poultry is terrifying).

    As always, let me know in the comments if you have any great tips for Stroganoff, or if you try this recipe! And feel free to tweet me pictures of your attempts! Happy cooking!

    Leave a comment!
  7. Ultimate Harry Potter Party: The Cauldron Shop

    October 31, 2013 ♥ Posted in: Food, Geek Events, Kristina Makes Things by Kristina Horner

    I’m sad to announce that this is the final entry in my Knockturn Alley party post series. The final shop we created in our living room was the Cauldron Shop, and it was made by my friend and roommate Eia Waltzer. I was super impressed with what she did with the theme – the only idea I really gave her was “fill cauldrons with food and drinks”. Great artistic direction, I know.

    But Eia is a creative mastermind, and she definitely made this corner of the party her own.


    It was pretty dark over in the Cauldron Shop, but that was purposeful. As you can see above, nearly everything in Eia’s shop glowed in the dark. She had, by far, the most popular drinks and snacks – but I’m not sure if that was due to her masterful cooking skills or the fact that we literally had a light up fountain.


    This fountain was one of my absolutely favorite party purchases. You can buy it for your next party here on Amazon, and it was really reasonably priced. We called this punch Amortencia, the love potion of the Harry Potter universe. They say Amortencia smells different to everyone who sniffs it; similarly, our Amortencia tasted different at various points of the night because it kept getting refilled with slightly different ingredients.

    Oh also, I don’t know how obvious it is – but those white things floating in the fountain are eyeballs. It just made sense.

    Both drinks at the Cauldron Shop came in punch bowls because, duh, they look like cauldrons. I don’t have a close up picture of it, but if you look at that first picture again you can see the glowing blue punch bowl on the left – that one held Unicorn’s Blood. The lights at the bottom were blue glow sticks. It was a mixture of blue Hawaiian punch and Whipped Vodka and it was delicious. Most party guests said it was their favorite.

    On to food! First up are these delicious wrapped hotdogs Eia lovingly named “Frankenweenies”:


    This is a terrible picture, I apologize – but that’s what you get when you try to photograph food in Knockturn Alley. The funny part about these little guys is that for two years now Eia has been calling these Frankenweenies… but it occurred to us this past weekend that there’s nothing “Franken” about them! They’re mummies! It’s too late though. The name has stuck, and they look creepy enough to be served at a dark wizard gathering, so they got to stay.


    I found these great little mini cauldrons at the local party store, so Eia fashioned her own version of Cauldron Cakes out of them: vanilla pudding died green, crumbled oreos, and gummy worms. Don’t pretend like that doesn’t sound AMAZING.


    I believe Eia’s greatest conquest to be these Pumpkin Pasties. She made those cake pops entirely by hand and they were wonderful. I really appreciated the unique approach to more “common” Harry Potter treats, and it was greatly appreciated amongst party guests.

    Now that I’ve shared the entire party on this blog, I’m curious what your favorite parts were? Which shop did you like the best, or did you prefer one of the other aspects of the party more? What was your favorite reference to Harry Potter?

    I can’t tell you how much fun we had planning this party. I feel like I’ve preparing for this party ever since I was 13 and started reading these books; ever since I first fell in love with Slytherin house. The night of the party will go down in history as one of my favorite events of all time, and I only wish I could have shared it with ALL of the Harry Potter friends I have made over the years.

    Thanks for following along as I recounted the experience, and I hope you’ve been inspired to throw your own themed parties. Themes parties are the best parties.

    Also, before I end this party series forever, I feel like it’s prudent to admit that somehow, a party guest dressed as DUMBLEDORE won the costume contest. No joke.

    I guess good really does always triumph over evil. Humph.

    Leave a comment!
  8. Ultimate Harry Potter Party: The Spiny Serpent

    ♥ Posted in: Food, Geek Events, Kristina Makes Things by Kristina Horner

    Hey guys! Rather than try to figure out her vision myself for this post, I figured it would be better to give you guys the real deal. I introduce to you my friend and roommate Liz Leo, the mastermind behind the Spiny Serpent portion of our Knockturn Alley party.

    Welcome, welcome to my shudderingly sinister shop the Spiny Serpent! Don’t be scared- step right this way…*


    The Spiny Serpent is home to all things creepy, crawly, and scaly. You simply can’t find stock like this anywhere else in the wizarding world. We have your spiders. We have your maggots. We have your miniature poison-egg-laying dragons (perfect for brunch with ex-boyfriends).


    A regular here at the Spiny Serpent, Mr. Dungeon Troll (his parents weren’t very original), once told me a story about how a pesky boy wizard stuck a wand up his nose when he was just trying to go to the bathroom during a Halloween party. We decided to honor his tale with a pretzel and dip delicacy (the dip featured here is cheese, as we ran out of real bogeys just moments ago).


    We have scores of dragons that lay all sorts of pernicious confections. Some eggs make perfect smoke bombs to be used for sneaky escapes. Others contain scrolls that predict the future. These- well these are chicken eggs that I hard boiled, gently cracked the shell, and soaked in red and black food coloring for a few hours- I tend to save the real dragon eggs for higher paying customers.


    Maybe window shoppers like yourself might be more interested in some dragon scales and goblin blood- only a knut a scoop. Our dragons shed like mad in the summer, so we sell the scales by the bag all autumn long. However in a pinch blue tortilla chips and verde salsa will get you through a dry spring.IMG_5431Finally, if you’re like me and you spend a large portion of your time wrestling giant flesh eating slugs away from your nursery of carnivorous shrubs, sprouts, and seedlings, then you’ll be needing this drink to take your mind off of your struggles. This “Flesh Eating Slug Repellant” features margarita mix spiked with tequila, limeade, and ginger ale- plus the salt around the rim will make sure the slugs don’t go for your flesh as well. (Oh, and please forgive our signage’s spelling error. Our house elf Winky must have gotten into the sauce before practicing her penmanship.)

    Hmmm- so you won’t be purchasing anything after all? I see how it is. I can’t say I’m surprised, as business here in Knockturn Alley is always slow- most people only tend to come here by an accidental sneeze anyway. Well, regardless, thank you kindly for visiting my shop. And in case you’ve found the ramblings featured here witty, waggish, or whimsical in any way please feel free to stop by my blog, where I’ve set up shop during the rest of the year. I’m sure I’ll see you again soon.*

    *cue ominous music

    Leave a comment!
  9. Utimate Harry Potter Party: Borgin & Burkes

    October 30, 2013 ♥ Posted in: Food, Geek Events, Kristina Makes Things by Kristina Horner

    The largest shop at our Halloween party was Borgin & Burkes, naturally, as it’s the only Knockturn Alley shop we really know anything about. For some reason our house has a built-in bar, so we designed this shop around it. Technically it was assigned to my roommate Justin, but it was more a collaboration between all of us.


    The idea was to have food in the front, and a museum of artifacts “for sale” in the back.


    Each of the dark artifacts had a tag on it with the name and a price. Some were things we happened to have sitting around the house already (like the books and creepy picture frame and hourglass) while others we either purchased specifically for the event (ie. George’s ear) or entirely made from scratch.


    This hand of glory was made by my roommate Liz. She worked on it for days, creating the entire thing out of popsicle sticks, hot glue, paper mache, acrylic paint and wax. You can read her hilarious and disturbing tutorial here. The red display pillow we happened to find at a consignment store on the same day as the party, which was exactly the sort of luck we kept running into throughout most of the party-planning process.


    Eia created this pensieve. The concoction inside is a mixture of almond milk, blue food coloring that we took care not to mix too thoroughly, and fine glitter. If you create a pensieve for your own party, please make sure your guests don’t confuse it with another punch bowl!

    Next up were the food and drinks for Borgin & Burkes. We went pretty dark with everything at this station, which was surprisingly fun for creating snacks. Every party needs chips and dip, so that was an easy one.


    One of my all time favorite party foods is stuffed mushrooms, which are inherently creepy looking. Those were a hit and instantly fit at the Borgin & Burkes spread. I forgot to put a tag on these ones, but I thought they looked a bit like mandrakes:


    And finally, the drinks. No wizard party would be complete with Firewhiskey, and I also really wanted to create a drink for Draught of Living Death:


    The firewhiskey was just Fireball whiskey (no use making it more complicated than it needed to be), while the Draught of Living Death was a bit more on the fancy side. We used drop shot cups with cranberry juice on the outside, and black Blavod vodka on the inside. It’s pure black! It absolutely had that creepy, foreboding look – but was quite popular with the guests.

    I really loved that our party guests all took the time to walk through and take in the detail we put into each shop, and Borgin & Burkes was definitely the most exciting one for crafts and artifacts. I love the scene in Chamber of Secrets when Harry mistakenly ends up here and wanders through some of the creepier things on display, so we wanted to try and recreate that feeling. Let me know your thoughts in the comments, and stay tuned for the remaining two shops!

    Leave a comment!
  10. Ultimate Harry Potter Party: Apothecary

    ♥ Posted in: Food, Geek Events, Kristina Makes Things by Kristina Horner

    The first shop from our Knockturn Alley party that I am going to highlight is the Apothecary – which is the one I made! I have always loved Halloween spreads that include a bunch of creepy glass jars and vials, so I called dibs on this one to give that idea a wizardy potion bottle twist. Here’s what I came up with:


    My shop focused a bit more on decorations than most of the others; I wanted to give the table the illusion of a pretty tea party that wilted and rotted after years of neglect. I was able to use a lot of things we already had in our house, actually. The tattered bunny was a leftover prop made for a costume I wore to a horror movie party, the doll with the bleeding eyes was actually Liz’s from the dinner party we went to last week. My favorite prop made specifically for this party, however, was the “doll in a jar”. I was inspired by watching a few two many episodes of American Horror Story:


    The candy wands were kind of an afterthought, to be honest. I bought a tin of Pirouettes because they have that tea party feel, and realized as I was setting them out that they could double as wands. That’s the fun of throwing a themed party like this: the Harry Potter universe is so expansive that it’s really fun and easy to tie in just about anything.

    Keeping up with crafts, here’s the array of potion bottles I made:


    You’d be amazed how much of this stuff is entirely normal household items! From left to right we have sliced peaches in a light syrup, then the Eye of Newt bottle has yellow dyed water with sugar babies at the bottom to look like eyes. Next the fancier bottle has chopped up cauliflower stems in blue dyed water, and the Dragon Blood vial is simply Orange Crush soda. Second to last is an actual non-edible slime mixture, and finally the largest jar has cauliflower stalks and beef broth (which I thought looked a bit like cat brains).

    Now that you’re good and hungry (haha) let’s move on to food!


    These pastries ended up being kind of a mistake, but they worked out just fine in the end and were delicious as well! I meant to make little pastry purses but they all ended up opening while they were baking. That was just fine though – I thought the blueberries wedged inside the flaky casing made them look like a sort of poisonous plant, so Venoumous Tentacula they became!


    I was quite proud of the drinks at my shop: This first one came in these lovely test tube vials and were dubbed Veritaserum. The potion is always described as colorless, but I still wanted to do something fun with it, so I created a raspberry vodka and tonic water mixture (because tonic water reacts under blacklights). You can’t quite tell in this picture, but these drinks were a perfect addition to the glow theme at the party (and were quite popular for it). You can get the test tubes and rack here on Amazon.

    Next up was the Polyjuice Potion. I was quite proud of this one:


    Just short of putting actual bits of things in the shots (no one wants to drink anything that has pieces of hair or fingernails in it, even on Halloween) we wanted to create a texture that still looked chunky enough to be Polyjuice Potion. These jello shots were a labour of love, creating three different colors of jello and spooning them into the cups separately after letting them firm up a bit. I used this recipe as a guide (though as cooking usually goes, they turned out a bit differently).

    Needless to say, the Polyjuice Potion was another popular item during the party, though we did hear they were quite strong. Whoops!

    So, that was the Apothecary! There are still three more shops to feature, so please look out for those. I’m more than curious to hear your thoughts, and let me know if you’d like the recipes for any of the food items mentioned above!

    Leave a comment!