Meet me under the tallest Christmas tree

I woke up in a hotel in River North the morning after Brian’s work holiday party. I had brought a coule outfits but after the wild night, I was leaning toward a pair of tie-dye yoga pants and a hoodie. Brian steered me away from super comfort and suggested I try something else.

“Okay, ya weirdo.”

He had apparently made reservations at a restaurant called Brunch, where we would soon eat ourselves stupid. “You can’t leave brunch to chance,” said the man who rarely makes reservations for anything.

“Okay, ya weirdo.”

Breakfast nachos at Brunch: a plate of waffle fries, cheese, bacon, and eggs.

And so we went to brunch at Brunch, where they served breakfast appetizers (nachos made from waffle fries and topped with eggs—are you drooling yet?), coffee in thrifted mugs, and the most perfectly poached egg on the planet.

Sleeping Beauty coffee mug

And I thought this was going to be the highlight of my day…

I was slightly suspicious, of course, partially because I had booked the hotel with the hopes that Brian would take the hint and partially because of a group text exchange of some friends who must have forgotten I was in the chat.

I defer to the other two guys: Brian because he has some pretty big plans today...

Oh does, he, Eric?…Big plans, huh? What kind of big plans?

But I had no idea the wild ride I was in for. At Brunch, Brian was distracted. Staring at his phone (which is unusual for him). Furiously texting. I asked who he was talking to and he kinda  brushed it off.

“Okay, ya weirdo.”

As we finished our meal, making tentative plans to go to one of the museums, Brian jumped up quickly, stating he had to go to the bathroom as if it were there first time he’d ever done it.

“Okay, ya weirdo.”

I spent my time wisely, screwing around on social media, bragging about the best poached eggs ever on Instagram and showing off last night’s makeup like a rockstar on Snapchat.

Just a selfie of me bragging that I was still wearing last night's makeup.

And then I waited.

And waited. And it got a little weird.

And then it got a lot weird when I looked up to see two of our friends, Eric and Brooke (one of my Something Blue girls). And Brooke had her video camera.

All I could think was, Okay, so it’s happening here. An interesting choice, Brian.

I never expected a big scene or anything. I figured it would be quiet, somewhere nice/special, but mostly quiet. And never on video.

Eric slid in next to me, and Brooke sat down where Brian had been sitting.

“So where’s Brian?”

“Ummmm…the bathroom?”

“I don’t think he’s coming back,” her words were drawn, full of excitement.

“Where’s his jacket?”

“You’re sitting on it.”

Brooke reached into his coat pocket and pulled out an envelope.

Inside the envelope was a note, an Android-compatible usb reader, and a cryptex.

For those of you unsure of what a cryptex is, go back to the The DaVinci Code. That puzzley thing Langdon had to solve? That’s a cryptex.

The note from was a clue to open the cryptex. Eric had the answer (and additional clues), so he could provide hints. Brooke knew nothing, so she could help me solve it.

As we spent an embarrassingly long time trying to solve this puzzle, I figured out how to get the answer, and was about to work it into the cryptex, when I realized, the cryptex numerical combination was still taped to the bottom of the device.

Nailed it!

Inside the cryptex, was a usb memory thingy (which plugged into the cable which plugged into my phone). It was a video from Brian, in which he told me that he planned an adventure and gave me a clue to another location.

This led us to The Looking Glass Theater near Water Tower Place. Upon our arrival, several really excited attendants handed me another cryptex and another clue. I solved this one in approximately 37 seconds, and inside this bigger cryptex was another clue to another location.

Again, it took me an embarrassing amount of time to figure out the location, which I knew was at Navy Pier, but had no idea where to go once we got there. As we were walking through the entrance, I mentioned The Crystal Gardens, having gone to an even there years ago. And Eric was like, BOOM.

We made our way up the escalator, and as I looked through the windows,

Oh fuck, my parents are here!

My parents were sitting at a table inside the garden with another cryptex. They also knew the answers and had additional clues for me. Eventually, Brooke solved it, because holy crap it was hard.

Inside the cryptex was a final location clue (and a flower hair clip, because as you can see, there’s room for a flower inside) in which Brian told me to meet him under tallest tree.

I knew immediately we were going to Winter Wonderfest at the end of the pier. My mom had wristbands for all of us to get in, so she led the charge. And we made our way through the restaurants and shops, twisting and turning to avoid crowds.

As we drew closer to the fest, Eric received some intel, and was told to find the man in the blue suit before coming in.

When we arrived an elf in a blue suit greeted us.

“Welcome! Welcome! You must be Chrissy! We’ve been waiting for you! I am the mayor of Winter Wonderfest! Welcome!”

A few other elves, including what appeared to be a reporter elf, appeared, but I looked past them to see Brian, wearing a suit under the giant Christmas tree in the center of the hall.

The mayor took my arm and walked me toward Brian while the other elves cried, “Make way! Make way! Chrissy’s coming through!”

As I walked up to Brian, he pulled out a velvet box with my grandmother’s ring inside it and got down on one knee.

Behind me, I heard someone yell out, “Oh shit! He goin’ to propose!”

Proposal under the Christmas tree at Winter Wonderfest

He asked me to be his bride, and of course I said yes. We hugged and kissed and then hugged my parents, his brother, amd our freakin’ awesome friends who had joined me on the scavenger hunt.

And then we needed some good pictures, of course. Brian got down on one knee, again, and asked me to marry him, again. And I said yes, again. It was perfect.

After wandering around the indoor fest for a while, the six of us went for champagne and snacks at Riva, a Navy Pier restaurant Brian and I had been to a few years earlier on my birthday.

We even kept the empty champagne bottle until fittingly, our wedding day, when it managed to get tossed out with other bottles in the mass insanity that was my house the morning of the wedding.

And now, a year later, I can look back on that memory my wonderful husband created for us before he was my husband. And Christmas will forever be better than it was before.

What was your proposal like?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

3 Backstabbing Games You Need to Play

Today is a glorious day my friends!

It’s International Tabletop Day! Brian and I shall celebrate by gathering with some of our board gaming buddies and playing copious amounts of games while snacking and boozing. Life is good today. In honor of this beautiful nerdy-as-fuck holiday started by one of our favorites, Wil Wheaton, and crew (Geek & Sundry, y’all), I thought I would share with you some games that you may not know exist. But should. Because holy hell are they fucking awesome. Also, these games are not for the weak at heart. These games are specifically chosen because they involve a lot of yelling. Screaming. Fuck-your-mother-ing. But I’ve played all these games with my mother. So there’s that.

Basically?

You’re welcome.

We're having a super sale in this shop!

Trailer Park Wars

When introducing non-gamers into the world of serious gaming, I used to use The Settlers of Catan as a gateway game. I like to think of it as Monopoly meets serious gamer. But then I discovered Trailer Park Wars. And oh shit you guys. This game is fucking hilarious. And ridiculous. And SUPER easy. The concept is simple, build a trailer park with trailer cards, amenities, and residents. Each amenity and resident offers benefits and (most importantly victory points). While you’re building your own park, your opponents are doing the same…but you’re also trying to destroy one another’s parks. With cards that send tornadoes through your neighboring park’s trailers, infestations and romances, you can kill, steal or move trailers, people and amenities. Flamingos flank your playing area as the victory points. Hillbilly accents and names are highly recommended. (One day, I’ll introduce you to my alter-ego Gina May). My PARENTS think it’s hysterical. My friends love playing. If you’re into horror flicks, you can also add the expansion, Trailer Park Wars: Terror in the Trailer which gives you more cards and more ways to screw your neighbor.

Trailer Park Wars

This was after I spilled that poor bottle of wine…

 

 One Night Ultimate Werewolf

Did you ever play MAFIA or WEREWOLF at Denny’s on school nights? No? Just me? Okay,  well, this is the ultimate lying and deduction game. There’s a werewolf (or a few werewolves) in the town, and the villagers are ready to hunt this shit down. Except that no one knows who’s a villager and who’s a werewolf. Each person receives a card revealing their identity, but no one knows what anyone else’s card says. The first phase of the game allows some people (werewolves and villagers) to do things in secret while everyone’s eyes are closed (there’s an app that tells you when you can do your thing!). Some people can look at other cards. Some people can look at each other. Some people can even move cards around. Then you open your eyes and the clock starts. You have to decide who the werewolf is and kill them. If you’re a werewolf, you want people to kill a villager by mistake. There’s a lot of yelling. And lying. And “YOU’RE THE WEREWOLF!!!!!” It’s pretty much amazing. This one’s a favorite in our gaming group, but I also got my parents and aunt & uncle to play on Saint Patrick’s Day. My mom was laughing so hard it hurt (probably because she’s a TERRIBLE liar). She’s still on the fence on this one. Oh yeah, this one ALSO has an expansion, which they Kickstarted last year: Daybreak. The expansion adds MORE characters. Additional features. Overall more stuff. Perfect for completionists like me (at least that’s what Brian says, anyways).

Ca$h N Guns

This one is equally as fantastic. You’re a band of thieves. You work together to rob a bank, but now what? Oh, right. You take out the competition. Each person has 3 bullets (Bang! cards) and 5 blanks (Click cards). You choose your weapon card, and on three, everyone points their foam gun (did I mention there are foam guns?) at someone else. At this point, depending on how many guns are pointed at you, you can choose to go forward for the loot (BONZAI!) or chicken out (put your gun down, homie). Those who chickened out and those who are shot, are out of the running for the loot. Everyone else divides the pot between themselves. At the end of 8 turns, the most money wins the game. Of course, I wouldn’t recommend playing with people you don’t mind stabbing in the back. I felt REALLY bad for my friend Beth’s boyfriend (and Brian), because of five of us, they were the two that I felt comfortable destroying. I made the mistake of going for Cletus once, and he wrecked me right back. So the other two guys it was.

What are some of your favorite board games? How will you celebrate International Tabletop Day? What’s the best lying, cheating, backstabbing, screw your neighbor game you’ve ever played?

No one paid me to talk about these games, but links in this post will direct you to Amazon. If you make a purchase, I may receive a teeny tiny commission. Which is awesome. So thank you.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

I’m Not Going to Lie…I Throw a Killer Party

So I know I promised months ago that I’d tell you about our housewarming party, but then LIFE happened…and the housewarming party came and went…and definitely got put on the back burner. But here it is in all it’s gaming glory.

I wanted to throw a game-themed party. And actually I wanted to get crazy into it with a different game theme in every room and people playing games everywhere. I had HUGE plans. I was going to set up a whole CLUE scenario. I was going to have little Jenga pieces for everyone to put house tips on. I was going to make cute little favors for everyone. But, as many of you already know…shit doesn’t happen the way we plan it. We closed on our house on October 15. We moved on October 25. And we threw the housewarming party on November 15. We’re lucky the house was clean and there was food to eat.

Throw an awesome housewarming party

Part of the quick turnaround was because I NEEDED to have an organized, put-together house in order to survive. I would have gone bonkers if we were living amidst boxes and bags that hadn’t been opened and organized. (There are still a few of those, but not many…and none of mine). Part of the quick turnaround was the timing. If it was around Christmastime, I would have had to have Christmas up and running perfectly…and then we were hosting Christmas dinner and it would have been a disaster of too many parties in quick succession. If it were after Christmastime…well let’s just say we’re still recovering and Christmas is still lingering in unseen areas of our home.

ANYWAYS. So we threw a party. Pretty quickly. And had about 65 people show up throughout the day (while expecting about 35-40!). We opened our house up to guests from noon until whenever (which ended up being around midnight), and ran ourselves ragged with tours and food replenishing and beverage duty. We had some wins and we had some fails, but all in all it was a total success.

While no one really played games, the theme was pretty evident throughout the house.

How to throw a game-themed housewarming party (without killing yourself or your partner)

Decor

Set up an AWESOME food display in an open area, where people can grab food, mill around and start one of the bazillion tours you’re about to give.If you don’t have a lot of decorations elsewhere, that’s okay (YOUR NEW HOUSE is the decoration that everyone’s dying to see). I was a caterer in another life, so the buffet set up can be super baller if you know how to use levels and fluff the hell out of tablecloths or fabric. (I use milk crates and similar containers to create my levels). Because I have so many Scrabble boards and pieces from my wanna-be-a-crafter box (and that one time I made Scrabble Christmas ornaments for everyone), I thought that using them on my buffet would be a hit! I labeled all the food with tiles (and even used the board to get all the ingredients for my Blue Cheese and Date Spread on Endive. I also pulled a few more game boards and pieces for good measure, adding just the right amount of nerdy gameyness.

Setting up buffet tables is one of my special skills. I used to be a catering manager so this sort of thing really tickles my jollies.

Setting up buffet tables is one of my special skills. I used to be a catering manager so this sort of thing really tickles my jollies.

dice and trvial pursuit

Food

Choose food that is SUPER easy to make and replenish. I’m a big fan of Crock Pot apps and snacks, so I went with BBQ weenies and buffalo chicken dip. I actually had another Crock Pot in the kitchen with more buffalo chicken dip for easy replenishment. My mom made several deli platters for sandwiches and it was cold enough that we could keep the reserves outside.Obviously there was a cheese platter. I like to to a lot of fan faves and choose one crazy concoction that I hope works out (that would be the blue cheese and date spread – which worked out). I made ALL of the food the night before, so the day of I could focus on the insanity of hiding all our crap in boxes and corners and shit.

BBQ weenies

Note the chess pieces, trivial pursuit cards and scrabble tiles for a mix of beloved classics

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Gratuitous cheese photo

Gratuitous cheese photo. Please note. I spelled cheese wring and am completely ashamed of myself. But don’t you love the risk board below?

Dessert

I REALLY wanted to make domino brownies. And I REALLY didn’t want to do a lot of baking. So I baked chocolate chip cookie bars and gluten-free brownies (both from mixes, homies) and picked up a giant brownie cake thing from Sam’s Club. I sliced the brownie in Domino-size pieces and dotted them with frosting. And it fucking worked.

Domino Brownies

I seriously thought these were going to be a huge Pinterest fail. And then they turned out alright.

mint chocolate chip cookie barsDrinks

We had wine galore. We had beer. We had the soda stream. We had two Keurigs. And we had some epic fails in forgetting to get bottled water and cans of pop. Not realizing just how many people would come, we thought that we’d be fine with soda stream and filtered water from the fridge… Go buy cans of pop and bottled water. Save yourself. Seriously.

Oh. And get these shots – which were a HUGE hit.

Twisted Shots Twisted ShotsPlaying HostessI discovered Twisted Shots while at BlogHer in San Jose last summer. They actually sent me a lovely little box of these delicious treats for my housewarming party! After 7, I figured it was time to get the party going (and most of the touring had ended), so I brought out the shots. I played server and convinced almost everyone to try a shot or two. With flavors like Sex on the Beach, Buttery Nipple and Porn Star, you know you’ve got a good thing going. Almost everyone was down with these sugary sweet twisted shots full of colorful booze that tasted mostly like candy. Even my whiskey-loving friends found a few shots that were right up their alleys.

Tours

Plan on basically spending the majority of the time touring and put someone else in charge of food and beverages once the party starts. Even if there are two of you, you’ll be switching off with the tours on a pretty serious cadence…and I think there were a few moments when we ran out of food. But I don’t know for sure because I was racing all over and mingling and busy and reveling and all of the things! (Yes, that sentence is supposed to give you anxiety.)

In the end, though, all you really want is for the people you love to come over and eat your food, drink your booze, and tell you that your house is pretty. And that’s what happened. I heard all sorts of positive things in regards to our first event in the new place (and then we hosted Second Thanksgiving…and then we hosted Christmas. So there was that.)

Blog friends, tell me about your party throwing experiences? What have you learned? What have you done well? What would you have done for a game-themed party?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

PlayCHIC A Night of Play and Fashion That Took Over Chicago

The stunningly beautiful Alhambra Palace in Chicago set the scene for an exotic night of play and fashion, as the third annual PlayCHIC commenced last Thursday night. The sponsors, ever-present Mayfair Games, Rainbow Loom, Women in Toys and Celebrity Name Game set in motion one of the most entertaining fashion shows I’ve ever been to…okay fine. All the fashion shows I’ve been to have been PlayCHIC. One of my favorite annual events.

PlayCHIC 2014

 

 

Michelle Tan – Mayfair Games Villainy

Michelle Tan has been designing the Mayfair styles since PlayCHIC’s inception three years ago, and with Villainy, she really made a splash. Her creations are whimsical, wicked and wonderful and looked great on both the lady and dude models.

Mayfair Games Michelle Tan

On another Mayfair Games note, I got to take a selfie with Mayfair president, Larry Roznai, who was a really cool dude to chat with.

 

Elda Delarosa – Celebrity Name Game

The elegant designs by Elda Delarosa were the start of this celeb-adorned gown. I’m not going to lie, this was probably my least favorite of the designs. It felt uninspired, as if the game was merely sewn onto the dress. I’m no designer, but I like to think that there are other ways to incorporate themes into clothing than sewing photographs to a dress. Sorry guys, you lost me on this one.

Elda Delarosa Celebrity Name Game

Peach Carr – Rainbow Loom

Made with the actual toy, this  Peach Carr original represents Rainbow Loom with a fun two-piece set. The creator of Rainbow Loom was even there wearing the jacket that Jimmy Kimmel wore! Brian would have been impressed. Probably.  My favorite part? The Rainbow Loom poodle. Who wants to make me one of those?

Rainbow Loom - Peach Carr Rainbow Loom

Gibeon Tolbert – Women in Toys

Representing a fantastic group in the toy and game industry, Gibeon Tolbert’s power suit represents everything I want to be in this world. Pink, powerful, stylish and fun. I seriously LOVED this design. Which shouldn’t be a surprise. If we all remember from PlayCHIC 2012, he created my favorite design, the Word Winder tie.

Gibeon Tolbert Women in Toys

 Which design is your favorite? What games or toys would you like to see mashed with fashion?

 

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Big Hero 6: It’s Hip to be a Square

Science!
Tech!
Nerds!

Big Hero 6 Review

A year after Disney knocked it out of the park with Frozen, they’re bringing me something just as magical in its very own light. Bringing the Marvel world into animated Disney is a big step, and it worked really well this time around. Big Hero 6 delivers the beginning of a beautiful friendship franchise with the lovable medical marshmallow, Baymax, and his creator’s little brother, Hiro. Together, they form a team of super-smart, science-nerd superheroes to take on the mysterious masked bad guy.

The film starts with a very young high school graduate (13 years young and unbelievably brilliant to boot) named Hiro who has little direction in his life. With the help of his big brother, a med robot, and his friends, Hiro finds his ultimate path in life.

image

Without giving too much else away, I’m going to go ahead and recommend this one to cartoon and comic loving adults everywhere. As seems to be my Disney MO, I laughed, I cried, and I cheered. I sat on the edge of my seat through half the movie, eagerly and nervously anticipating what would come next. The emotional, feel-all-the-feels aspects of this movie really got to me, so if you have sensitive tiny humans, you may want to give them a year or two before checking this one out.

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Big Hero 6 takes you on an emotional rollercoaster that you’ll willingly jump on again and again. Baymax proves to be a robot of solid character and Hiro learns one of those important, and sometimes cliche lessons. Hiro is accompanied by his crew of newly found besties as they work together to think outside the box and save San Fransokyo.

San Fransokyo concept art

San Fransokyo concept art from Walt Disney Studios

I loved it.

Brian did too.

And DEFINITELY stay until the end of the credits. You won’t want to miss this one.

Way to go, Disney. I love that you’re making it cool to be a nerd.

Are you planning on catching Big Hero 6 this weekend? Have you read the comics?

I received zero compensation to write this review. I have a love of all things Disney, and was invited to see a pre-screening of the movie as part of the media. All images are used with the permission of Walt Disney Studios to discuss and share with you.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Gettin’ Geeky With It Throughout the ‘Verse

I am a sucker for all things geeky, nerdy, and surprisy.

I flippin’ LOVE surprises. Which is why subscription boxes appeal to me. So when I found Loot Crate, I was all, “OMG! Geeky! Nerdy! Surprisy!” Yes. With that many exclamation points. And yes, I kind of hate exclamation points.

But I love Captain Mal.

Especially this version of Captain Mal

Especially this version of Captain Mal

And so when I found out the September Loot Crate was full of top secret Firefly exclusives and all things galactic, I was all in with all the chips.

I wasn’t disappointed.

Loot Crate Review

As a grown-up collector (we’ve gone over this: “hoarder” isn’t a very nice-sounding word, but “collector” totally is), I love toys and games and things. The Loot Crate is full of toys and games and things for grown ups who play like kids. So it’s kind of perfect for me.

September Galactic Loot Crate

Here’s what the September box included:

Captain Mal Funko Mystery Mini – A mini Mal just for me. Can I keep him?

Firefly currency – Can I just say how pretty Firefly money is? I love the money in my Firefly game, and I love this too.

Firefly money

Star Trek Tribble – Isn’t my cute little Tribble buddy precious? I just want to snuggle it.

Han Solo Poster – Trapped forever in carbonite ON MY WALL.

Star Wars magnet – I love magnets. Especially now that I’ve got a house with a fridge coming soon.

Pop Rocks candy – They’re going to sugar me up, too?

Funko Alien figure – If I told you I’ve never seen Alien, would you take away my geek card? (This is going in Brian’s stocking. Hopefully, he opts not to read this post. I’m going to count on the fact that he’s super busy with all the things that are work and house and not Chrissy’s little ole blog.)

Loot Crate button – I love buttons. I don’t know why… coughcollectorcough

Halo Escalation #1 Halo Comic Book Digital Redemption Voucher – Fancy code for more things! (Okay, I’m not a HALO person, but my I’m pretty sure this is something that would fall into the godsons would enjoy this camp.)

All in all, I would say that Loot Crate could very well be worth $19.37 (including S/H) depending on the month and your geeky preferences. In this box, there were some serious wins for me (Cap’t Mal and the Tribble) and a couple meh’s (Alien and Halo), but I’ve got some Christmas presents out of those, so it worked out well for me.

The October box (FEAR) sounds tempting what with an issue of The Walking Dead comic book, a mystery t-shirt and the promise of FEAR (we all know how much I love Halloween…).  So it looks like I may be adding another monthly subscription to my life, though I think I’d keep it at a per month subscription in order to make sure it’s a theme that interests me.  A lot of the past crates look awesome (Villains, Dragons, Heroes), but there are a couple that wouldn’t have interested me at all (Adventure, Transformer).

While this is not a sponsored post, I did receive a complimentary Loot Crate for honest review purposes. I was not compensated for my thoughts, and I really did want all the galactic things…and I really did get multi-exclamation excited about geeky, nerdy, surprisy goodness.  

What do you think, Blog Friends? Is this box up your alley? Would you be as excited for play money as I was? Which of these items would be highest on your yes-please list?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Nerds!

Good afternoon Blog Friends!

I have returned from Indianapolis with about 10% of the games and things that I wanted to purchase (while still finding a few gems and winning a few sweet freebies.)

Gen Con Games

The Spoils

I can’t wait to pop these babies, ESPECIALLY the Firefly expansion. Of course, I also can’t wait to have a house to display my ridiculous game collection in one beautiful game library so I’ve decided this is the week we’re going to find our house.

All that aside, it’s time for the Gen Con recap.

We, along with 50,000 or so other nerds, geeks, and gamers, descended upon Indianapolis for 4 days of unadulterated gaming.

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What I wore to Gen Con

As with most nerd cons, it’s important to show off your finest geekery. I opted for two days of total geek chic and two days of comfort. Yoga pants dominated on the days that involved driving. But I’m pretty proud of the two full days’ ensembles.

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Spreadshirt Sloth Tee

On Friday, I busted out my brand new sloth tee from Spreadshirt. This shirt was sent to me so that I could tell you how awesome they are. I was actually super impressed with several things that Spreadshirt printed shirts had to offer. First, the collection of tees and designs are pretty vast. I went to the site looking for the perfect shirt to wear to Gen Con. I knew I found it when I saw the big happy sloth who definitely doesn’t run.

Sloth t-shirt

Ironically, Brian really did want to nap instead…and I wanted to get to Gen Con OMGASAPNEEDNEEDNEED.

The shirt took just a few days to ship – two to be exact. Unlike other make-your-own printed stuff sites, I received this shirt in less than a week from the shipping date. Just in time for Gen Con.

The best part about Spreadshirt was the customer service. Each step of the process came with an e-mail letting me know when my shirt would arrive and I received a final feedback request that felt personalized. It was a great experience.

As far as the shirt? I ordered a woman’s V-neck XL. I would order a different style/size next time, as I felt the shirt was a little short for me. Otherwise it was comfy and soft. And got a TON of compliments from other gamers.

TARDIS dress

As I scoured the mall looking for another tee to wear, I stumbled across this dress that pretty much made my day. And FIT ME.

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Upon entering the con that day, I immediately found my Dalek foe and went to wreak havoc on him for existing. Unfortunately, there was no chatting with a Dalek this year.

I did think it was super interesting, as I had never been in one place where so many people were wearing the exact same thing as me (and I went to Cheer Camp!).

On Wil Wheaton

Man! How cool would it be to be as cool as Wil Wheaton?! These are just a few things I saw:

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I failed to purposely accidentally run into him again, but I think I’d be so nervous if I did, I wouldn’t say anything at all.

The Games

I love demoing games. I love demoing games at Gen Con. I didn’t get to play nearly as many games as I would have liked, but here are a few that really stood out to me.

Alpha Bandits

Alpha BanditsThis game from Wiggity Bang Games  was just funded on Kickstarter last month. I love the colors of the tiles, but the play of the game is really fun. It relies on creating words for points, but also sneakily changing up your opponents’ words and ending the round to garner the most points. It’s a really great word game for anyone who loves them some Scrabble/Words With Friends. I actually have a demo print and play version of the game already, but it’s still on my list of to-buy games when it comes out in a few months. Especially since this wordsmith kicked the game designer’s butt in a demo game!

Of course, because I beat the designer, I won a different game from Wiggity Bang games, Mad Quao (which I also got signed by the designer). I’ll let you know how it goes.

Seven Wonders with the upcoming expansion

I love this game as a stand-alone game or with its current expansions, and I really enjoyed playing one part of the new expansion. Each of the add-ons in this expansion offer help and hindrances depending on how you play your game. The one we played added a group card that everyone needed to work together to achieve. With a success, everyone who helped received a sweet bonus and with a fail, anyone who didn’t help was punished (in the game people!)

Run for Your Life Candyman!

Oh. My. God. You should probably own this game. The premise is Candyland. But with the added slogan of Smirk & Dagger Games, “Games are a lot more fun when you can stab a friend in the back.” And it’s amazing. We played in a 2-hour tournament game at 11:00 pm. What made this especially fantastic was the gingerbread cookies and food coloring gel.

You can watch as my cookie, Taunty, slowly loses every part of himself. Playing this with a group of strangers was surprisingly awesome. We had a fantastic group and Smirk & Dagger makes this an amazing experience with their enthusiasm and super fun game.

We spent most of the game in a candy cage match where we basically just ripped at each other until everyone had someone else’s candy limbs. It was fantastic.

There was SO much more, but I figured all you needed was a small glimpse into this year’s Gen Con experience.

Have you ever been to a game or comic con? What’s your favorite board or card game?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Sometimes We Just Need a Reminder

Good morning, Blog Friends!

Brian and I are on our way to Gen Con right now. You may find me Twitterstalking Wil Wheaton or racing around Indianapolis playing ALL THE GAMES.

All Gen Con gaming joy nerd stalking aside, I’m sharing my view from here (which I guess isn’t here, like, Chicago-here, because right now it’s somewhere-between-Indianapolis-and-Chicago here, but the general premise is that it’s my view of my life which is in the Chicago suburbs and stuff) over at Dancing in the Rain today. So if you’re interested in reading about how Brian and I work through the tough stuff and the reminder that helps us daily, please go and check out my guest post A Life Full of Awesome.

I’m closing comments on this post so that you follow the internet rabbit hole and comment on my post at Jennifer’s blog home so that she thinks I’m cool. I’m really excited for you to read this one, so go check it out.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

A Conversation About Fairies

Brian: If I were to create a D&D character for you, what would you want to be?
Me: Do you just want to create more characters?
Brian: No, we’re going to play.
Me: Umm…what are my options?
Brian lists a bunch of general things like controllers, defenders, strikers…and explains them
Me: Can I be a fairy?
Brian: Umm, you could be a gnome.
Me: That’s not a fairy.
Brian: They’re fae.
Me: But gnomes live in trees and fairies have wings.
Brian: You could be x,y, or z.
Me: Can I see pictures?
Brian pulls up pictures.
Brian: These are gnomes.
Me: Where are their hats?
Brian: They’re not garden gnomes.
Me: But David the Gnome wears a pointy hat.
Brian: Not. That. Kind. Of. Gnome.
Brian runs through a few of the pictures, explaining the characters.
Me: Okay, I’ll be a fancy elf.
Brian: Eladrin.
Me: Yeah, that.

Did you ever play D&D? (Dungeons and Dragons in case you didn’t know). Would you?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Confession Friday: I Lost at LIFE

OK. Here goes. The following conversation happened last night:

Me: So, do you want to try out our new game? (Our previous roommate had bought us this sweet game, Dominion, for Christmas…and the next day, I had popped it, organized it, and read all of the rules. I proceeded to ask Brian to play every day thereafter.)

Brian: I kinda just want to relax and snuggle and watch TV. (The same answer he’s had every night since we got the game.)

Me: You don’t ever want to play games with just me. It’s just like when I was a kid. I wish we had a dog.

Brian: You can’t play games with a dog.

Me: Yes, you can.

Brian: But you’ll always win.

Me: That’s not true!

Brian: I know… (and then he hugs me sympathetically.)

We finally got to play Dominion last night. He felt so sorry for me…and, wait for it…he enjoyed himself.

The following conversation happened on Christmas.

Little A: Auntie Chrissy, did you bring LIFE?

Me: No, A…sorry.

Little A: That’s OK. Can we open presents?

Me: Sure. Ask Auntie Patti, though. She’s the boss.

Little A: yells Auntie Patti! Can we open presents??

Mom: Sure! (She was never that easy going when WE were kids!)

Present opening ensues.

Little A: opens games Oh sweet! Can we play!?

Me: Definitely!

So we start setting up Catan Jr. which is awesome.

Dad: Sure beats playing with the dog, right? he chuckles at me

Me: Dad, did you read that blog post?

Dad: Huh?

Me: The one I wrote about Bismark?

Dad: No, I just remember it. You always played LIFE with Bismark. I remember you lost a lot, too.

Classic Game of LIFE

 

Woj (My Little Brother, whose name is also Brian, which gets confusing): You lost to the DOG? Hahahahahahahaha! (Literally that many ha’s)

Me: Sometimes…

Woj: How many times did Bismark go to college?

Me: A lot.

Woj: Hahahahahahahahahaha!

So there you have it, Blog Friends. My dirty little gamer secret. And you know what? Right now, I totally wish I had a dog.

 

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!