Lizzy’s 2014 Geeky Gift Guide!

Have you gotten over your turkey-induced comas yet?  We’re still working through our leftovers here over a week later!  And with Black Friday and Cyber Monday having come and gone we’re deep into the whole Christmas and holiday shopping season.  And if you’re like me you’re running behind (including posting this guide)… holy crap, we’re only 10 days out from the big day! Eh, I’m growing a human, I think I have a tiny excuse.  Aaaand worst-case you can always give these as Epiphany gifts ;)

Anywho, I thought it would be fun to do geeky gift guide and highlight some of the things that I personally think would make awesome gifts for some of the geeks you just might be stumped on.  Though heck, I’m pretty sure some of the things on this list would appeal to lots of other people who don’t self-identify as a geek too ;)

So without further ado, here we go:

Lizzy’s 2014 Geeky Gift Guide!

one// The Boozy Geek

One of the great things about being friends with this type of geek is that whenever you go over to their house you are sure to be served up something awesome to drink.  The hard part about gifting for these types is that chances are unless you find a really off the wall craft/indie brand of liquid libation, chances are they already have it stocked in their personal bar space, AND they have strong opinions on it one way or the other.  Enter awesome bartending/drinking accessories and ingredients!  The great thing about these is that even if the Boozy Geek in your life has something similar or even the exact same thing, they’ll still be happy to get it.

bar shark

The SHARK WEEK bar tool!
Fun bar accessories are always an awesome gift.  JP and I use a Star Trek bottle
opener that was gifted to us our first Christmas.  It always makes me smile.
But you what to up expectation? How about a bar tool that is not ONLY
both a bottle opener and a corkscrew, but one in the shape of a
FREAKING SHARK?!  I’m pretty sure anyone, geek or not, would love this guy.

Everyday IPA Beer Making Kit

DIY Beer!
So there are two types of boozy geeks, the kind who already homebrew, and the kind
that haven’t given it a try yet.  The link above is for the latter type, and it will
take you to some awesome sounding kits — personally the jalapeno saison sounds REALLY
interesting to me, though as we all know, it’ll be a while yet before I can indulge again.
(YAY BABY!)  For the geek who already brews you might look into getting them some
awesome INGREDIENTS.  Chances are be the person you’re shopping for a n00b
or the experienced brewer, you’ll be invited for a taste test. :)

two// The Wordsmith Geek

Words, words, WORDS!  That’s what this geeky archetype loves.  They can be professional writers, fanfic writers, bloggers, or that person who is constantly scribbling their thoughts down in notebooks.  Some of this type will let you read what they’ve written, others prefer to keep it closer to the breast – and don’t bug em about out ;)

Ecosystem Ruled Journal: Medium (Kiwi)

A Place for Jotting

Personally I have a hard time going anywhere without my planner, a notebook and a pen of sorts,
and I actually seriously doubt that I’ll change that habit if I ever get around to being a smartphone
user.  There is just something cathartic about actually writing things down.  Also, no battery
life issues ;)  I LOVE using moleskine-type journals.  I used one to keep track of EVERYTHING
when we were in Germany, and I have one that I’ve dedicated to all things Baby E-related.
Personally while I DO love the brand-name, I love the Ecosystem brand of these better.
Think of it as an awesome stocking stuffer for the writers in your life :D

(gif source)

Third Place Gift Card

There is a stereo typical image many people have about writers sitting in a coffee shop or
a cafe or another local place and letting the background sounds of people around them wash
them into sweet oblivion as they work.  It’s their Third Place.  Their home away from home.
A place where they can get away and work.  Do them a favor and get them a gift card for this place!
They’ll really thank you for the provided writing snacks and caffeine ;)

three// The Culinary Geek

Similar to the Boozy Geek in that they love crafting things up, only this time it’s the kitchen.  When you go to their house, be they a civilian chef or an awesome home baker, you are sure to get something very awesome to eat.  What kind of food do they make you ask?  It may be a fandom inspired feast, bakery items they’ve created after reading a particularly tasty work of fiction, they could be figuring out how to make the MOST awesome chocolate chip cookie, or they could be trying to make the perfect home version of German-Japanese-African fusion fare.  Needless to say, they have one tasty hobby.

donut gift

DIY Doughnuts!
Take a minute and think.  What is better than heading out to your favorite
doughnut shop and getting something tasty?  Answer’s easy: SMELLING
them cooking at home!  Think about how freaking excited
the baking in your life will be to get this kit?

 A subscription to RawSpiceBar!
How cool would it be to give the kitchen chemist in your life
some snazzy spices delivered to their door for a few months?
Best part? It’s not all that expensive as far as subscription boxes go,
and your giftee will be getting monthly smiles :D
(also! watch out early next year for some collaborations between It’s a Geek Life and RawSpice Bar!)

A FIX IT NOW kitchen help book!
I don’t know about you personally, but I KNOW that I’ve found myself
mid-recipe only to find out that no I actually DID forget to pick that up at the
store earlier in the week, or, holy crap how are we out of eggs?!
There are a million things that can happen in the kitchen, and books
like this are there to give you a hand.  Perfect for the kitchen geek
who sometimes finds themselves needing just a little bit of help!

four// The Girly Geek

This geek-type is one that some may disagree exists, or argues that it CAN’T exist.  There are MANY places on the internet where girl geeks are bullied and belittled, and many places where if a chick is at all attractive then it’s said that she can’t be a “real geek”.  Oh Internet, this is one of the areas where you and I disagree.  The Girly Geek is the geek girl who not only has her fandoms, kicks ass on WoW or Call of Duty (and trash talks, so watch out boys), is passionate about her love of Kirk and Spock, but also enjoys the many aspects of being, well, girly.


A Place for the Pretties and Preciouses!
Oh lordy, between Etsy and geeky retailers there are a TON of options
for the girly geek to have ALL TEH THINGS!  The only thing that’s bad about
having them all is having a place to keep them nice and organized.
And while command hooks do an ok job, they look “eh” where as this
jewelry stand is not only functional, but pretty damn good looking!

lippy chem set

A Chemistry Set
Chemistry was one of my favorite sciences to take. (ok, well ALL science was my favorite…)
One thing lots of the geeky gals I know love to do is ROCK a bold lip.  It’s a way to
take your jeans, geeky tee and messy hair from “just rolled out of bed” to
“NAILED IT!” in a couple seconds.  The great thing about OCC Lip Tars is that
they do NOT budge.  So going on a brew tour with the girls? Or have a late night
raid where you’ll be indulging in greasy pizza?  No worries here. You’re still gonna
look flawless by bed, whatever hour that ends up being.

five// The Brit-o-phile Geek

Harry Potter. Sherlock Holmes. Doctor Who. Jane Austin Black Books. BBC. Tolkien. Tea. The Queen. The Queen’s Corgis! I think you get the idea.  The Brit-o-phile may love one aspect of England and the British Empire, or they may love it all.  Ask them one small detail about what they’re into and chances are you’ll get more details than you even though were possible on the topic. That and chances are they’ll try to indoctrinate you into their little world.

(image source)

A Cuppa!

Any geek who is TRULY in love with all thing from Britannia is going to at least love SOME
kind of tea.  Look into getting them a gift set from some place like Adiago or Teavana,
OR even better, give them some of the real stout British stuff!  After all, tea serves to
calm the nerves, wake you up, put you to bed, and solve all the world’s problems.

(image source)

BBC Boxed Sets
These things tend to be on the pricier side, so if you really want to treat that Brit-obsessed
geek in your life look into getting them a season of a show that they love.

Note: I linked B&N above because British TV is HALF OFF right now!!

This is NOT a Drill!




So, this week started out exciting!
(hence why some planned posts have been delayed…)

I have a new job, this time instead of working for another Multi-National MegaCorp,
instead I’m working for a firm that is only based in the US.  There are offices in nearly
every state, including one in Hawaii.  It’s more wetlands and permitting work
so Lizzy is a very happy girl :)

AND now onto another (bigger) reason posts haven’t been as plentiful since getting back:

We’re expecting Geekling #1 in May!

The Baby currently has been going by the names of “The Xenomorph”, “Baby E”
and “Squidge” (not sure where that came from), since we found out.

While the timing was a touch early with our “plans”,
it turned out to be very fortunate since the first trimester was rough,
Like couldn’t get out of bed most mornings, and I lost 10+ pounds rough.

I also didn’t get much done… hence why there haven’t been posts
about our “Last Drunken Romp” aka “The Grand Fifth Anniversary” yet.
Just no energy at all.

BUT God has a funny way of making things work out.  I started the new job
in my second trimester, so I have more energy and food actually looks good
again :)  (Also my new company has NO problem with me being pregnant!)

So yeah, we’re pretty excited.

Can you say BEST news every for St. Nicholas day?
Clearly Krampus is going to leave us alone, this year at least ;)

srocking cover

Bringing Little Geeky Lizzy into Today

So I’m sure by this point many of you have seen that there is going to the a forth movie in the Jurassic Park franchise.  Jurassic World will be coming out next June, and I have pretty mixed feelings about it if I’m being completely honest.

Missed the trailer? well, here it is.  Go watch it, I’ll wait right here so  you can get what I’m writing about.

Watched it? Ok, now we’re on the same page.  I have really mixed feelings about this movie.  First off, and my mother can attest to this, I was a HUGE Jurassic Park and general dinosaur fan as a kid.  So in a way my childhood is being brought into my adulthood.  BUT, Spielburg did the same thing when the forth Indiana Jones movie was made, and we all know how that worked out.  Yes, I was excited to see Indy on screen again, but I was not at all happy with the end result.  It lacked the oomph of the other three movies and felt very every forced. (watch the South Park Episode and that pretty much describes it!)

Also, in a way I have a small problem with Chris Pratt being the lead scientist guy — not that he isn’t a good actor, but I still very much view him as Andy from Parks and Recreation.

Andy Dwyer Chris Pratt animated GIF(gif source)

And I also totally get that Chris Pratt probably doesn’t want to be pigeon-holed into the “goofy guy” characters, but that was part of the big reason I liked him so much as Star-Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy.

Then there’s the whole thing of where it looks like the velociraptors seem to have been turned into obedient guard dog types.  Uhhh…

So will I go see it next June?  Most likely.  Will another part of my childhood be crushed?  That is yet to be seen.


It was a VERY good weekend.

Happy Monday and Turkey week everyone!  I hope your Thanksgiving plans are coming together and you get to eat lots of yummy things.  Or if you’re one of my non-US readers take some time on Thursday to do something or eat something special so you can join us in the fun and spirit of the season.

How was everyone’s weekend?  Mine turned out to be really good.  Actually, last week was a good week overall, and the weekend was just the icing on the cake.  Last week we had our first snow – nearly an inch an a half!, I got a bunch of things done that needed doing last week, I’ve been talking with some awesome companies about guest posts/collaborations, and it culminated on a celebratory dinner (thai food!) out Friday night because THIS GIRL got a very awesome job offer and I start December 1st!  So all around awesome.

So far this week seems to be looking like it’ll be a good one too. I crossed the T’s and dotted the I’s on the paperwork for the new job this morning, and Sally was bathed just before lunch and is a very happy and clean camper because she got her customary drive-thru hamburger.  (yes I bribe my dog to behave, don’t judge, it totally works!)  John Paul has the week off from classes and teaching (though not homework and grading, the joys of grad school, am I right?), we’re doing a very small Thanksgiving just the two of us and the dog (and skyping family) which I’m really looking forward to.  We’re also going to start pulling out our Advent and Christmas decorations this weekend, and gearing up for the first weekend of holiday festivities.  (Krampus is coming to Bloomington on the 6th!)

More fun posts are planned for this, and the coming weeks, so keep your eyes peeled, and I’ll talk to ya later Internet!

Sisters and Weird Food

So my two youngest sisters Meghan and Mary have launched a youtube channel where they chronicle weird foods that they come across and do a little taste test on camera.  Personally I find it to be hilarious, but then again I’m probably the only one of my sisters who has a “eat first ask questions later” mentality when it comes to food — note, this is how I’ve managed to eat not one, but TWO types of blood sausage unknowingly.  Pro tip: sheep blood tastes MUCH better than chicken.

So far my favorite episode has been the one where they try horned melon:

My reasoning behind loving it?  This look on Mary’s face at one point:

mary ew

It’s like she’ll never find happiness again!

After actually talking with both of them after the horned melon episode I’ve been on the look out for some awesome things to “gift” them for future episodes. ;)  So yes, this is a shameless plug for my sisters, but if you enjoyed the episode above please consider giving them a nod and subscribing.  Ten million brownie points if ya do!


Up In Indiana: The Monks and Sisters of St. Benedict

Hi there internet, long time no post (again…).  So I’m back, no really, I am back this time.  And to get things started off right I’m launching a blog feature that has been in the works for a while now.  If you can’t tell, it’s called “Up in Indiana” which will be a series about our travels and shenanigans.  Also it’s a nod to the Lyle Lovett song of the same title.  Enjoy!

Southern Indiana has to be one of my favorite parts of the Hoosier State that I’ve been to.  There are lots of hills, and intermixed with those typical midwestern towns and farms is Hoosier National Forest.  Absolutely beautiful.  Additionally in the southwestern corner of the state there are two beautiful Benedictine sites: Saint Meinrad Archabbey for the monks back in October and Immaculate Conception Monastery for the sisters last weekend in conjunction with the Christkindlmark.  John Paul and I were really excited to head down to see both as seeing historic and beautiful churches is something that we made a point to do with our travels in and around Germany.  Fun fact – if we’re in a place for more than a couple days we usually have a day of “steeple chasing” and hit up as many churches as we can.  Fun times.  Or does that make us a couple weirdos?  Eh, whatever, we enjoy it :)

Continue reading

Holy November Batman!

Is it just me or did October speed by like a bullet train?  The month wasn’t too exciting for us, though the area about Bloomington did not disappoint with the fall foliage this year and we managed one small trip to see the Saint Meinrad Archabbey in Southern Indiana (post and pictures coming. promise!!)

Aside from that John Paul has been plugging away at the semester – have I mentioned that the crazy-head is taking THREE dead languages this semester in addition to teaching?  And I’ve been applying to jobs, made a couple runs to Indy for interviews and aside from that I’ve just been trying to get us fully settled into our new space, and haven’t been blogging – baaaad Lizzy. (especially since I haven’t posted so much as a teaser picture from The Grand Fifth Anniversary Adventure!)

So, November.  Oh November, while I’m looking forward to going to the Christkindlmarkt in Ferdinand Indiana and Turkey Day, I have to say, you are most definitely not the prettiest or my favorite month out of the year here.  November brings the cold soaking rains that make all the leaves fall and turn to mulch, and make evening walks wet and uncomfortable.  Then there’s the fog that we’ve had a couple mornings, creating some particularly scary driving conditions – thankfully most of the student population seems be asleep during the worst of it.

In between reading (I’ve been taking full advantage of having an awesome public library again), home stuff, and job applications/interviews I’ve been catching up on a little TV — I recently finished off Private Practice a couple weeks ago (the end on the series was just ok), and very recently I picked up BBC’s Call the Midwife which I am thoroughly enjoying.

Well, that’s it for now.  Like I hinted above, I’m going to get back to a more regular posting schedule, including details about that big trip we took as we exited Europe back in August.  ;)


Fall is Here! So why hasn’t the weather caught up?

I mean seriously?  I REFUSE to drink my annual PSL until the weather cools down.  So Internet it’s been a while… I’ve been lame, I really have! Ugh… let’s just move on.

Our weekend turned out to be more or less productive, and included acquiring the last of furniture we needed on Saturday after we had an awesome time in the morning watching our friend’s adorable 3 month old daughter for a couple hours.  So now we have all the furniture we require — including a new bigger desk for the desktop computer downstairs (which is in the process of being sanded down and stained darker), moved the other desk up to the office.  The futon mattress now has a frame to sit on, so reading (and the occasional nap) can take place in the office.  And finally we finally have chairs to go with our dining table – which are also being sanded and re-stained.  Best part is that we got everything on Saturday for under $60!  Thank you Habitat for Humanity ReStore.  Seriously!

Between this past weekend’s purchases, the bookshelves and the tardis-file cabinet we were able to get what we needed for a lot less than we would have spent if we had bought everything new — like have you ever looked up the cost of a single new dining chair?  We did when we bought the couch (the only item of new furniture we’ve bought!), and holy crap!  We then spent a few weeks hitting up yard sales and antique shops, but either couldn’t find enough chairs in a set (2 to 3 were the most common), a set of 6 that was a good price, OR in good condition.  The chairs we ended up with DO need some TLC, BUT at $2 each I think the TLC is worth it.  Plus they’re really solid little things and I’m going to get the color I want!  Now I just have to remember to pull the last two out of the trunk of my car…

I’m hoping that by Friday we’ll at least have desk finished so I can more or less put things together for a home tour.  I’m really loving how our space is turning out.  Everything wall-wise won’t be up yet, we still need to frame a few things, but it will be more or less completely together, and I’m excited to show it off :)

Aside from adventures in buying furniture, things are still going.  I’m still looking for a job, and JP is still at his grad student stuff.  We’ve been talking about heading down to southern Indiana to see a really cool monastery, but aside from that it’s business as usual.

Snapshot September: Cousins!

This afternoon after my interview in Indy
(cross your fingers and toes for me!)
I got to spend a few awesome hours with these two people:


My cousin Mike was in town for an interview of his
own and his beautiful wife Milena tagged along!

It was great to see them, and since they hopped out to Indiana
we’ll have to look into hopping out to Colorado at some point too :)

Blogger’s Block

 (Found via Pinterest/Image Source)

So you would THINK that with something like Snapshot September it would be a “no duh” kind of month and a “will get back into blogging” kind of month.  Turns out not so much… I’m going to be straight with you guys — I’m in a bit of a funk.  No, let me rephrase that, I’ve delved into a pretty deep funk and am working on climbing out of it, so please be patient with not getting a whole bunch of pictures this month like ya did last year.  I’m going to do my best to do what I can with the last couple weeks of the month, but being motivated to get on a write, let alone do too much else.  Not gonna lie, some of it is wrapped up with a minor depression about being back in the States (Friday marked one month back), and then there’s all the stress that is typically tied with moving into a new place/getting set up/establishing a new routine/searching for a job/other things…  As stated above, everything doesn’t need to be talked about, and I definitely agree in regards to blogging.  Somethings just shouldn’t be online for the world to see.  Or at least I’m not comfortable sharing those types of things.  For family who reads this blog, please realize that we’re OK, nothing huge and life changing has happened, I’m just personally going through a readjustment period — I’m pretty sure that JP would be reacting similarly IF he wasn’t so busy at IU.

On the brighter side of things, the weather in Indiana is finally beginning to feel like Fall — we BOTH sported sweaters today and we had an awesome afternoon thunderstorm.  Over the weekend one of my beautiful cousins on my mom’s side joined the “old marrieds club”, and tomorrow I will get to see some more of my cousins (from my dad’s side).  Also, everything pumpkin is coming out — I made a pumpkin-bacon-beer soup for dinner (good, but needs some tweaks next time), the Chocolate Moose has pumpkin ice cream again, and I’ll be getting my annual Starbuck’s PSL at some point.  It’s Fall, one of my favorite four seasons, and I have an awesome new project launching with my sisters soon.  So, I just need to hold onto the good things and pray about everything worrying me now.

I’m going to go by this other thing I found on Pinterest and press on tomorrow, and hopefully a little of this blogger’s block and a bit of this funk will be lifted.

kushandwizdom | Tumblr(image source)

Night Internet!