1. October Life Update!

    October 10, 2014 ♥ Posted in: Cosplay, Geek Events, Journal by Kristina Horner

    Okay, I haven’t just “sort of fallen off the blogging wagon” – it’s completely left me behind and I’m going to need to call a Lyft to catch back up. Even though writing is just about my favorite thing to do, whenever I start to get busy this blog is the first thing to get the axe. I don’t mean to! I love this blog! But I am going to try to be better. I mean we’ll see, since next month is NaNoWriMo, but I am going to try.

    So what’s been getting in the way of blogging for me? Well, I have two easy answers to that, actually.

    1. Cosplay

    2. Reading

    Usually I have a million excuses as to why I haven’t got time for a damn thing, but lately, it’s been those two things, 24/7. If you haven’t noticed, I have recently jumped headfirst back into reading, and it’s been seriously awesome. Every once in awhile I’d feel that little tug, like there was something missing from my life – and it was totally reading. I’ve been doing a book challenge over on Goodreads to read 30 books this year (modest, I know, but I wanted to start realistically) and I am flying through! You can follow me there if you want to see what I’m reading and how much I like the books I’ve read.

    And the cosplay… don’t even get me started. To be fair, I love it. I am head over heels, honeymoon phase totally smitten with it. But good lord it’s expensive and time consuming. I don’t even want to know how much money and how many hours I have dumped into this hobby already. I really don’t.

    But this weekend I’ll be at Geek Girl Con here in Seattle and I’ll be cosplaying both days! Saturday I will be reprising my Queen Frostine costume I wore at PAX, as we now have the addition of a Mr. Mint and plan to enter the costume contest with them.



    And then on Sunday I get to fulfill a life-long dream of cosplaying as Sailor Moon. That’s right – I’m dressing up as Usagi herself. The best part is, we have an entire cosplay group of every single Sailor Scout, including the outer scouts. The only sad part is that our Uranus can’t actually make the event, but we know she’ll be there in spirit.


    I don’t know how I managed to snag Sailor Moon, but I am so pumped it’s actually happening. I’ve put literal blood, sweat and tears into this project. Between a sewing machine needle going directly into my thumb, to hot-gluing my finger prints off, to having to redo a depressing number of parts of this costume due to mishaps and mess-ups… this pretty soldier of love and justice cannot wait for her costume to be finished so she can just wear it and feel like a magical girl.

    I will definitely be posting pictures! Be sure to follow my cosplay page on Facebook for more regular updates about our costume journey.

    That’s all for now! Please don’t abandon me – this blog will be up and running again very soon. I promise. Pinky swear. See you later!

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  2. Renaissance Faire Instagram Flashback

    August 14, 2014 ♥ Posted in: Cosplay, Fashion/Beauty, Geek Events, Journal, Travel by Kristina Horner

    I love Renaissance Faires. I really love them.

    Usually I manage to make it to about one a year but in 2014 I’ve had the good fortune of attending THREE. I got to check out LA’s Pleasure Festival back in April, then I finally finally finally got to attend Faerieworlds down in Oregon in July, and I wrapped up my Renaissance circuit with the Midsummer Fantasy Faire right here in Washington this past weekend.

    I figured I would put together a compilation of photos from the events to share the experiences with you, dear readers. Photos go a lot further when it comes to these events.

    Row 1: The SoCal Pleasure Faire with Ariana, Tyler, Sammy and Joe! This one was so big we didn’t even realize we’d missed a whole section of booths and shops until the faire was almost over! We spent the day shopping, eating, and enjoying the fact that it wasn’t 100 degrees out, like most Faires we usually attend.

    That second picture has detail shots of all my new medieval swag (the best part of attending a Ren Faire is adding to your outfits each year; I’m totally guilty of overspending all the time). The third picture was just a funny vendor that made me laugh.

    Row 2: Faerieworlds is my new favorite event of all time. It’s sort of a Renaissance Faire meets music festival, and it’s right outside of Eugene, Oregon. I attended with some of my best friends: Eia, Joe, Justin, Ariana, Jenn and Liz. You set up camp, you shop, you dance, you listen to live music and you seriously unplug from everything else. We started the weekend in elaborate mythical creature costumes and ended up wearing next to nothing as it got hotter and dustier.

    That second picture is a bunch of us hanging out in a yurt that Ariana was totally in love with… they just left it open all the time, so it became our go to chill space when it was too hot during the day or too cold at night.

    The stage with constant folk music playing was a serious highlight, as was the fact that most booths and food vendors stayed open at all hours of the weekend. However, my favorite part was that there were workshops and activities for everyone – I spent a good amount of time with hula hoopers, learning new tricks (as you can see in the third picture) – while the others were at sword fighting workshops. It was truly amazing.

    Rows 3: This was our first day at the Washington Midsummer Renaissance Faire with Eia, Ariana, Joe and Meagan. It included immediately getting my hair braided (because it was way too goddamn hot) and putting Eia in jail. It was her birthday, so it seemed like the thing to do. These guys publicly “arrested” her and dragged her over to be contained until she tap danced for them and sang Happy Birthday to herself.

    We’re great friends.

    This is the Faire I’ve been going to since high school, so it’s always fun to run into familiar faces and delight in how much the event grows each year.

    Row 4: The second day of the faire was absurd when it comes to impulse buys for just about everyone involved in the trip. Also Liz joined us. I bought mermaid ears (can you believe it!? mermaid ears that look totally amazing!) and a crystal flute. I’m not even joking you. If someone told me as a child that I would spend my hard earned adult money on mermaid ears and a crystal flute… well… I probably wouldn’t have been surprised. I was a weird kid.

    So that was my Renaissance Faire experience for the year, and I’m terribly saddened that it’s over for now. There are always yuletide feasts to look forward to, but I’ll miss the dusty paths of the faire, the turkey legs, the bards, the bodice ice. Until next year, huzzah!

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  3. July Reading Challenge!

    July 3, 2014 ♥ Posted in: Books, Geek Events, Writing by Kristina Horner

    Okay so. The July Reading Challenge. This is just a little idea I had yesterday while thinking about making time for reading. I pitched the idea on Twitter and when the reaction was positive, I kind of got carried away with it.



    The premise is simple: Just read every day. But the idea is to really pledge to do it, and to hold yourself accountable for it. I’m organizing a little support group for readers on Twitter, so if this idea sounds interesting to you, join in! Use the hashtag #JulyReading and respond to other readers whose posts you find! Encourage each other, share favorite lines from what you’re reading and recommend books to others.

    I was going to make a whole list of questions to answer each day on twitter, but maybe I’ll do this challenge again sometime with more rigid rules. For this first run at it, let’s just keep it casual.

    Make sure you’re following me on Twitter to follow along – I’ll be asking for check-ins each day, asking questions and sharing what I’m reading. I’d love it if you’d respond as well!

    Let me know in the comments if you pledge to read every day in July. We’re going to get so much reading done!

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  4. Disneybound: Bo Peep and Woody!

    July 2, 2014 ♥ Posted in: Cosplay, Fashion/Beauty, Geek Events, Outfit of the Day, Travel by Kristina Horner

    Disneybounding as Bo Peep, complete with a tiny sheep necklace and one of the only items that exists in the world that’s white with pink polka dots. I’m not even kidding.

    This past Sunday I was at Disneyland with a whole group of my friends, and we decided it was time to take Disneybounding to the next level. We put a good amount of pre-planning into this trip to the park, but picking a single movie, assigning roles, and managing quite the impressive group Disneybound.

    We chose Toy Story. It was a good choice, since it spans three movies and includes more toys than I can even count. We didn’t even begin to cover every character with our group, but we did a pretty good job!


    I also managed to convince Joe to choose Woody, which was almost more fun to help put together than my own outfit. His little cow-print bow tie (which I found here!) is just too cute. We’ve done a “couples” Disneybound once before (Ariel and Prince Eric, as blogged about here) but this newest one is by far my favorite.


    Overall it was an amazing day, everyone looked great, AND we hosted a big meet up over my Small World that an amazing amount of people showed up to! If you stopped by and said hello, thank you! I was so impressed by everyone’s outfits and I’m just so pumped on costumes right now that it really was the best way I could think of to end VidCon. What a great trip.



    Have you ever Disneybounded? Who did you pick, or if you haven’t done it – who would you LIKE to Disneybound as? Let me know in the comments, and thanks for stopping by!

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  5. What I am Doing At VidCon 2014

    June 24, 2014 ♥ Posted in: Geek Events, Nerd Topics, Travel, YouTube videos by Kristina Horner

    I can’t believe how close we are to VidCon. Deep breaths, Kristina. Deep breaths.

    I wanted to write up a quick little post to let you know everything I am doing at the con, since there’s a lot of it. From panels to meetups to running a convention-wide game — I’m gonna be busy! But as usual, I love meeting you guys, so please feel free to come up and say hello! And scan my QR code… but I’ll get to that later.

    Here’s my official schedule:

     FRIDAY JUNE 27:

    Striving to be Sustainable (206AB): 3:30-4:30pm
    Making millions off your web series sounds nice, but for most creators, just the idea of making a living off your content — consistently, and without going crazy — is enough of a dream. What’s the secret to balancing life and work in the web video world on a long-term basis?


    Job Hunters Cast & Crew (209): 12:30-1:30pm
     Join the cast of Job Hunters for a Q&A after a screening of not 1 but THREE episodes of the new season of their web series. Then stick around for announcements and fun surprises!

    SUNDAY JUNE 29: (Disneyland Day!)

    I’ll be hanging at Disneyland with everyone else, but what I really want to share with you guys is the Disneybound meetup I’m co-hosting with my friends Sarah, Leo and Joe. It’s going to be a lot of fun and I hope you’ll plan to join us if you’ll also be at Disney that day.



    The last important thing to note is VidCon Arena — the convention-wide game Job Hunters is hosting. You’ll be receiving a QR code sticker in your VidCon bag once you get to the convention, and if you want to play you just need to stick it to your name badge. Then you’ll need to hunt down other players with their own QR codes, Job Hunters arena style. Rack up points and the top winners will get to play LASER TAG with the cast of Job Hunters on Saturday in official Maewin jumpsuits – and they might win some other great prizes!

    I’ll just let this video explain it to you:


    Please let me know in the comments if you’re attending VidCon, and hopefully I’ll see you there! I am nervous and excited and I CAN’T WAIT TO GET THERE AHHH.

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  6. Job Hunters Season 2 Is Here!

    ♥ Posted in: Geek Events, Nerd Topics, YouTube videos by Kristina Horner


    It’s here it’s here it’s here! Season 2 of my web series Job Hunters has been a long time in the making and we’ve finally launched Episode 1! It’s a huge sigh of relief for our entire team, as we hate making you guys wait just as much we know you hate waiting. The episode has already been extremely well received, however, and we couldn’t be more excited to finally be sharing this with you.

    We have a bunch of news regarding what we’re doing at VidCon (most of our team leaves for the convention tomorrow!) so keep an eye out for those updates in the very immediate future!

    Thanks for sticking with me on this, guys. It means so much to me. I hope you enjoy episode 1.

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  7. Going #DigitallyDark with Absolute LoJack

    June 16, 2014 ♥ Posted in: Geek Events, Journal by Kristina Horner

    I’ve recently been in contact with Absolute LoJack – a really neat company that deals with device theft. They sell software that not only helps you secure your information if one of your devices is stolen, but also helps you stay one step ahead on being able to locate and get that device back. It’s available for laptops, cell phones and tablets and the more I learn about it, the more amazing it sounds.

    I’ve never personally had my laptop or phone stolen, but I definitely know multiple people who have. I have had my wallet stolen, and it was a similarly devastating experience. Not only is the item itself worth something to you (especially in the case of an electronic device) but the information inside it – that’s what can be really scary to lose. When I think about the information that exists on my laptop or phone and what could happen if it fell into the wrong hands… it actually makes me feel sick to my stomach.

    Knowing there are programs out there that can not only lock and delete information from your device if it gets stolen, but can also help recover it is extremely helpful to my peace of mind. Absolute LoJack asked me what I would hypothetically pay to get my computer back if it was stolen and I said “oh god, I dunno. At least $1000”. It costs so, so much less than that to take the precaution before the worst happens. That was seriously mind-blowing to realize.

    Why is this relevant to you? Well, aside from the fact that I think everyone should make sure they have a plan in place in case their important devices get stolen, I also wanted to share a project that they’re doing. Absolute LoJack has come up with the idea of encouraging people to try going “Digitally Dark” for a day – this means you cut off access to one of your important devices for 24 hours to emulate how it would feel to lose that device. The experience is supposed to make you realize how catastrophic it would be if it went missing, and to use that motivation to take the steps you need to make sure you’re covered if it does happen.

    I think this is a fantastic idea, and as much as I hate the idea of not using my phone for a whole day — I think it will be good for me. Hopefully the experience will help myself (and others!) realize how serious device theft is becoming and how easy it can be to get yourself  prepared. Over 100 cell phones are stolen every minute in the United States – that’s a horrible statistic and it’s rising all the time. This is why I am planning to go Digitally Dark this week Wednesday, June 18th.

    If you want to try going Digitally Dark WITH me, you’re more than welcome to! I will be ditching my cell phone for the entire day, and will be filming a video diary of the experience. We can commiserate online together using the #DigitallyDark hashtag.


    Let me know in the comments if you want to join me – or, if you’re just interested in finding out about Absolute LoJack, they’re offering readers of my blog 30% off any 1-year standard or premium subscription until June 30th. Check it out here and use the code “DARK30” at checkout.

    Thanks for reading, and if you decide to unplug on Wednesday – good luck!

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  8. YouTube Video: Free Comic Book Day!

    May 7, 2014 ♥ Posted in: Geek Events, Journal by Kristina Horner

    I have always been a HUGE advocate of programs like Free Comic Book Day – and as excited as I am by the prospect of events that urge young children to read, I’m also equally excited to partake in the festivities myself. May 3rd was Free Comic Book Day, and as usual, I took my camera along for the ride:


    I think this year was a personal record for me in both A) number of comic stores I managed to hit up in one day and B) the number of comics said stores were allowing participants to acquire. No previous Free Comic Book Day has lead me to regularly reading comics in the off season (besides those from the haul I picked up at the event) but I think this year is going to be different. I’ve already worked my way through about half my collection and I’ve got a growing pile of “comics I need to go buy more of because they were great”. I think this is the year, folks. This is the year I become a full-fledged comic book nerd.

    What are your favorite comics? Which did you pick up during Free Comic Book Day and which were you a fan of already? I’m going to be doing reviews of my favorite new comics here on this blog, so I’m hoping to share some favorites with those of you who read this. 🙂

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  9. The Parselmouths’ Garage Sale!

    May 1, 2014 ♥ Posted in: Cosplay, Geek Events, Journal by Kristina Horner

    I promised big news today and here it is: The Parselmouths are having a GARAGE SALE! You heard right – back from hiatus for just a hot second, my retired wizard rock band has returned not to perform any shows, but to offer you the chance to pick up some of our sweet, exclusive merch you may never have had the chance to buy before. We have an eclectic assortment of shirts and CDs spanning the whole length of our band’s existence, including some of the very first shirts we printed back in 2007. These shirts have never been available online before, and they were taking up so much room in our house that we decided it was time to share them with you – the great people of the internet.IMG_6708The really exciting part is that the ‘proverbial, real-and-true’ end of the Parselmouths doesn’t just mean the end of an era… it, of course, means the start of something new! We played our last show at LeakyCon 2011 so we’ve been “in retirement” for awhile now, but Eia and I have continued to live together, make things together, and scheme together. The launch of this online garage sale coincides directly with the unofficial “grand opening” of our online cosplay presence, and the start of the DeviantArt account we’ve created to document this new chapter of our lives. This account is still in the very early stages, but we’re also very new to cosplay! Every dollar we make selling what’s left our our Parselmouth’s merch will go to our cosplay fund, to bring you guys fun new costumes and characters we’re just itching to make. IMG_6702 If you were ever a fan of our band, I definitely encourage you to at least go check out the store and see if there’s any fun, exclusive Parselmouths merch you may have missed out on over the years. And if you never listened to the Parselmouths, we have physical copies of our CDs for sale as well, which are otherwise no longer available! Again, here is the link to our temporary store. Accio, Parselmouths merch! This is both a nostalgic and exciting event for us, and we’re so excited to finally be announcing it. The Parselmouths existed for six wonderful, magical years and being in this band brought us so many great experiences, friendships and opportunities. It’s both tragic to leave such an amazing part of your life behind, and wonderful to look to the future of what you might be able to accomplish next. Let me know in the comments either a favorite Parselmouth’s memory of yours, or a character you’d like to see either Eia or myself cosplay as in the future. Thanks for all your support, as always, and I look forward to this final month of Parselmouths fun. ^_^

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  10. 8 New Games I Learned on Tabletop Day

    April 7, 2014 ♥ Posted in: Geek Events, Kristina Reviews Things, Nerd Topics by Kristina Horner

    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.


    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.


    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!


    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.


    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.


    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.


    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.


    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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