Geeking Out on Tea – Adagio Teas Have All the Awesome Fandoms

I’m a fan of tea. I was born in Alabama and was basically raised on sweet tea. When I was little, if I had a choice between milk, juice or tea, I’d go tea every time. I got into hot teas and different varieties when I got older. I also have a pretty impressive collection of Japanese tea sets.

So, if I wasn’t clear, I really like tea.

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Which brings us to Adagio.com and their amazing collection of teas of all kinds. And it’s not just the tea, but the fandom connection that got me so excited I actually ordered twice the amount of the gift certificate they sent me so I could to review the tea and do an article. So this isn’t even a totally sponsored review – I actually bought this stuff too! I just love the little tins they tea comes in. I know I’ll be using them for other things once the tea is gone.

I just worked my way through the Harry Potter Magic Potions collection, and still have Game of Thrones and the Hero Recovery pack to do. I also picked up a little Flutter Shy and a random bag of Black Dragon Pearls because how cool does that sound?

This tea is no joke. It’s a loose tea and very vibrant in color and very fragrant. The overall tone of the Harry Potter sampler seems to be dark and smokey. Most of the tea reminded me of the scent of pipe tobacco. I discovered making tea with a toddler around is a little difficult because I’d get everything set up, start brewing the tea, then get distracted and come back 30 minutes later to a very strong and bitter tea. So pay attention to your brewing time! I’m still tinkering with how to make a nice cup so my first impressions may not be the most accurate. I tried everything plain at first, then with a little sugar. I prefer teas I can drink without adding anything extra, so my favorite was the Beerbutter because it tasted great as-is. I thought Pumpkin Potion would be high on my list, but I couldn’t really detect enough of a pumpkin flavor. I liked the light scent and flavor of the Draught of Peace, and wasn’t really a fan of the Felix Felicis or Polyjuice. I’m going to give everything another try though and experiment with proper brewing times and adding in sugar or honey.

I tried making it three different ways – a french press, a tea ball and tea bags. I like the tea bag way the best because it’s really easy and there’s no mess. You just fill up a little baggie, sit it in your cup, then toss it when you are done. I got mine at the grocery store, but the ones on Amazon are way better in price: bags for loose tea  There’s also a large selection of teaware on the Adagio website if you are looking for something unique or prettier than a tea bag.

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I’m still on my tea testing journey and looking forward to starting the Game of Thrones blends next! If you have a friend who likes tea, a unique blend from their favorite fandom would make a really great gift. They have a HUGE selection, plus seasonal teas, tea of the month, and every kind of tea imaginable it seems. Because I currently have such a plethora of teas, I shared my Magic Potions collection with a friend. You can read her tea experience here: Adagio Puts the Geek in Tea

You can also check out Adagio on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

 

I Like Star Wars the Normal Amount

At least, that’s what I thought until I was having dinner with a new friend and found out I have no idea what the normal amount is.

I used to own a costume boutique so I was surrounded by cosplay/geeky people all the time. It was like living in a nerdy little bubble. Since I had a baby, moved to the beach, closed my shop and started the blog, I’ve been meeting a lot of new people and a lot of those people have no idea what cosplay is and some of them *gasp* have never even seen Star Wars. (I’m still shocked when I hear that, and honestly question whether we could ever be besties if they don’t understand the ways of The Force .)

Recently I was having dinner with another mom, chatting and getting to know each other. We were basically on a first mom date and the subject of Star Wars came up. I can’t remember what I said, but it led to her asking me “so you like Star Wars a lot?”

And my first response was “well I think I like Star Wars a normal amount.” And then I was like what the hell am I talking about? I’m on the cover of a Star Wars documentary that’s probably a little more than the normal amount. But I didn’t want to come off as totally weird, and then I realized well she’s going to figure that out sooner or I later might as well come clean.

So I admitted, yeah, I guess like Star Wars “a lot.” And then in true geek fashion I had to specify that I liked the original Star Wars the best, and that I’m not so into the new Star Wars and confess that I hadn’t even seen the new Star Wars yet (I have seen it now) and slowly I realize I probably talked about Star Wars WAY more than the “normal” amount. So I decide the best way to go is even things out with “but I like Star Trek too,” as if maybe being a well-rounded geek is going to sound more normal. I stop myself before clarifying “just TOS though, not much of the new stuff, except the movies. I’ve seen all of those.”

See? the normal amount. Nothing to see here. Totally normal levels of Star Wars love. Lets move along. Just don’t get me started on the costuming! Normal just goes downhill from there.

So what do you geek out on? Anything you might have an above-average amount of fangirl (or boy) love for?

I Heart Cosplay

Cosplay defined: a contraction of the words costume and play, cosplay is a hobby in which participants make and wear costumes to represent a specific character. The broader use of the term “cosplay” applies to any costuming in venues apart from the stage or Halloween.

So now that we got that out of the way…

I was half-watching Deadpool last night while making dinner and the part where he makes his costume got my attention. I love watching costume progressions. One of my favorite parts of superhero movies is finding out how they got their outfit. Did they assemble the parts? Sew it themselves? Find it waiting for them like the latest Wonder Woman?

I am often asked how I got into costuming or why I cosplay. It’s a tough question for me because it’s just always been a part of who I am. I just love costumes and costumey things. I love playing dress up, and I love making things. I was doing this WAY before it was ever called cosplay and I will be doing it long after the fad has peaked and popular interest wanes. I can’t watch a movie without looking at every costume detail and thinking about how I would make it.

I still remember watching Michelle Pfeiffer as Selena Kyle frantically stitching together her vinyl catsuit in Batman Returns. It was the moment she transformed into Catwoman. That is one costume I have always wanted to make! Just watching her obsessively assemble those vinyl pieces made me want to run for the sewing machine.

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A fairly accurate representation of what I look like when inspiration strikes

So I think That is the kernel of a true costumer/cosplayer. It’s just something in your blood. You don’t have to try and think about it, you see costumes and things to create everywhere. You get this excited feeling about bringing these things to life. You can’t “quit cosplay” as I see so many people post from time to time. It would be like losing a part of yourself. And for me, it would be a loss of creativity, inspiration and a source of happiness.

So even though I don’t dress up every weekend, attend every con or make costumes as my job anymore, it’s still a part of me and always will be.

Because I <3 Cosplay

Cosplay and Cons with the Kids

One of my favorite big conventions is almost here – San Diego Comic Con! I went the year I got pregnant and haven’t made it back since I had my son, but we have done a lot of daenerys targaryen and baby cosplayother conventions together. In fact, he attended his first con at just 6 weeks old! I look forward to taking him to SDCC one day, but until then, we’ll be hitting up cons a little closer to home.

Attending a con with a kid was a whole new experience for me. My usual plan was just show up, take a lot of pictures and basically party all day and night. Now I have to plan around nap times, changing diapers and having no choice about being up at 7AM every morning.

So here’s my Top 10 Tips List for Attending Conventions with Kids:

  1. Try something local first. Short trips are best. You can search sites that list cons by state like UpComingCons.com Cosplayconventioncenter.com, but if you just put “cosplay conventions” or “comic conventions” along with your location into Google, you’re going to find something!
  2. If you aren’t going to be local, be close enough so you can easily walk back to the hotel for naptime. Believe me, this will make things SO much easier.
  3. Check out the event ahead of time and plan your day. Make a list of events and things you want to attend with time and location.
  4. Forget about actually making it to any of those things. Just kidding. A little.
  5. cosplay with babyIf you have a baby, make sure you have something to cover your costume with. Nothing like ruining all your hard work with a bunch of spit-up.
  6. Plan your costume around being able to pick-up and hold kid, feed kid and change diapers. If you are not able to do this, make sure you have a “baby handler” with you for assistance.
  7. Go easy on the kid costume. They are probably just going to fBaby in Superman shirtall asleep, drop food on it or rip it off after two minutes anyway. A good easy costume is a t-shirt that matches your general theme. When I do Wonder Woman, I often dress my son in a Superman t-shirt. He’s had an impressive collective since he was born. He never went a month without one in his size. I actually just printed out a bunch of ink jet iron-ons and would make whatever size I needed at the time.
  8. If you start taking them when they are young, then they will love it as they get a little older and you won’t need to worry about them being afraid of the characters and costumes. My son loves getting up close and touching the costumes.
  9. Pack more than you think you need- extra food, diapers, clothes, drinks…extras of everything! We went to ConJure and after a 2 hour car ride my son started projectile vomiting. We went through a LOT of clothes. You never know what you are going to run into. Be prepared.
  10. Do a kid-friendly cosplay group. I had a great time as Princess Parfaya in a Sesame Street Star Smores group at Star Wars Celebration and the kids and parents totally got it.

Sesame Street Star Smores Cosplay Group at Star Wars CelebrationAnd most of all, just have fun, soak up the experience and share every moment with your little one. This is your chance to share your fandom and geekiness as a family affair.