I’ve Moved!

Hello everybody! I’ve got good news and sad news. 1337Mando finally has a new site! Sadly, that means if you want to keep up with my posts, you’ll need to head on over to 1337mando.com. Be sure to sign up for the newsletter so you don’t miss a thing!

Anyone else have Aerosmith stuck in their head now? You’re welcome.

Game of Thrones Wine Recipe

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Stark wine… I should probably put a wolf on this instead.

A couple years ago, I wanted to make a nice holiday/winter wine that not only made me feel warm all over but made my house smell yummy all over. Since I was currently reading the Song of Ice and Fire series, in which they drink wine all the time (they’re a crazy bunch) I figured I would go to Google to find some random recipe to give a shot. What I found was a mulled wine that harkened to the wine those in the North drank. This was served to the Starks as well as at The Wall. Over the years, I have modified it by changing ingredients and measuring less. I know this may annoy a few of you but I am really not a concise recipe follower/creator. If you plan on making this, just have fun! Sampling along the way definitely helps (wink).

Ingredients:
• Red Wine
• Orange Juice
• Honey Whiskey (I recommend Wild Turkey American Honey)
• Oranges (of any kind, I use clementines)
• Cloves (whole)
• Sugar
• Cinnamon (ground and sticks)
• Nutmeg
• Honey

Dump the red wine into a large pot and put it on a low heat. You need to be careful because you don’t want to end up boiling out the alcohol. That wouldn’t be fun for anyone! You want it just warm enough to heat the ingredients so they’ll easily mix and warm you when you drink this. Add enough orange juice to equal half of the wine. I had a 1.5 L bottle of wine so I added 4 shots of honey whiskey but you may want to add less or more depending on how much of a Booze Hound you feel like that night. Cut 2 small/1 large orange(s) in half, place whole cloves into the flesh of the orange and place face down in the wine. Add 6 tablespoons of sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, 2 sticks of cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg, and 3 tablespoons of honey.

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So the process doesn’t look too sexy…

For my next batch, I’m going to infuse the whiskey with apples and cinnamon. I may even create drinks for the other major houses. You can also watch the video of a very pregnant me making this last year. (No, I did not drink any. That’s why last year’s special ingredient was the tears I shed as I delivered each jar.) If you end up making this, please let me know if you make any changes to the recipe!

Momcrafting: Talking Receipts

I have been having a blast piecing together our three costumes this year! It’s been fun finding items, some that I can use all year round if I so choose. Though I have been pretty curious what I’ve spent so far since I spoiled my son a little for his costume. So here is the break down for the costumes so far!

Moogle Costume

White suit – $17.29
Still need: material for wings and pom-pom

Super Megaforce Power Ranger Costume

Black pants – $5.99
Black shirts – $5.99
Power Ranger gloves – $5.99
Power Ranger sword – $14.99
Red fleece track jacket – $21.95
Subtotal: $54.91
Still need: materials for belt and jacket embellishments

My Costume

Leatherette leggings – $18.48
Black track jacket – $23.55
Black gloves – $9.99
Boots – $27.13
Gold hoop earrings – $6.87
Pink sunglasses – $1.05
Vampire fangs – $13.15
Yellow jacket – $18.48
Subtotal: $118.70

Yowza! I had no idea that I had spent that much on my costume. But to be fair, almost everything can be worn all year round. I am so incredibly excited to finish all of these! Will post pictures as I complete things. I’m hoping to finish my daughter’s Moogle costume this weekend. Have to wait for the fleece jacket for my son to get in, but that should be soon. Since it’s already been snowing a little here, it’ll be good to build my son’s costume with warm materials.

Updates coming soon!

Momcrafting: Baby Moogle

As I mentioned in my previous post, I’m already working on our Halloween costumes for this year. Face it, Halloween is serious business for our family! My littlest nerdling is going to be a Moogle this year. My original vision was to crossplay Vincent Valentine myself, have my son be Denzel, and my daughter be the Moogle doll at the local anime con. Unfortunately, it looks like I will not be making it to the con. And though I will have to crossplay Vincent at a later date, I just can’t forget about my daughter as a Moogle. Seriously, I can’t think of a cuter costume for a little babe.

Now, I’m a clothing modifier. I’m sure some day I’ll be able to fabricate an entire costume from the ground up but until my sewing capabilities grow I’ll stick to modifying found items. Which is another reason I’m excited to make this Moogle costume. As long as I have the best possible base, this will be an incredibly easy build. So when I saw the winter suit below, I knew I was set!

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It’s white, it soft, it’s furry. All of that adds up to a perfect base. A couple things will need to be modified but I think that will be easy. The round ears will need to become pointed. I’ll have to get some extra white fabric and inner ear fabric. Horns were easy to make last year so I can imagine pointy ears are just as easy. A wire and pom-pom will need to be added, plus purple wings.

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But then there are these little bear faces on the toes. I’m sure I can remove the stitching and leave it at that. I’m predicting that will be no big deal. Will let you know how it goes!

Money spent on Moogle: $17.29 (Original price $38. Sale price $24.70.)

Happy Momcrafting!

Momcrafting: Halloween

Halloween easily became my favorite holiday after becoming a mom. If I had the time to go to conventions, I’d love to cosplay. But since I barely have enough hours in the day as it is, I get to focus all of that energy into a single holiday. Last year, I sewed by hand my son’s Wild Thing costume and vowed to myself that I would buy a sewing machine. I’d love to buy a sewing machine. I truly would. Problem is, when you have two kids, money starts to become less about what you want and more about what you need. Or rather, what they need. But since I really don’t love being miserable I told myself I would not take on sewing everything by hand like I did last year. (And no… no I will not settle for buying costumes from the store.) Thank goodness my mother hasn’t sold her old machine. Every weekend from now until Halloween I’ll be crafting our costumes at her house. That’s pretty much a win-win for everyone. My munchkins get to see their Nana and my fingers get to stay in tact.

Now comes the big question: what should we be? I thought about having a theme for the family but nothing really worked. Then it dawned on me that my son was now old enough to choose for himself. (Though, this often backfires when it comes to ordering food. I’ll ask him “Do you want mac & cheese, or chicken strips?” To which he’ll answer “Mac & cheese.” And of course he eats everything on the table except the mac & cheese he swore up and down that he wanted. Of course.) It’s very possible that this will backfire in my face as well but I figured I would give it a shot. While we were waiting for Nana to get done in the movie section of Wal•Mart, I took my son down the costume aisle. He zeroed in on the Super Megaforce Power Ranger outfit instantly and was incredibly sad when I told him he couldn’t have it. Incredibly sad.

I know, I’m heartless. Believe me when I say I had to hold back from buying it for him and putting him in it immediately. Trust me, I’m a big enough person to put aside my desire to make the costumes by hand if my son wants something so badly. However, it’s still the middle of September and I’m also smart enough to know that if we buy his costume now there’s no way he’ll want to wear it on Halloween. Besides that, the toddler size has fake muscles. I’ve seen Super Megaforce Power Rangers. They’re lanky like every other Power Ranger squad. So tell me why the costumes look like the Hulk has been added to the team. It’s pretty lame if you ask me. So my son will be getting his own momcrafted costume which will actually be perfect. We live in Alaska, as many of you know, and this gives me the perfect opportunity to beef up his costume on cold protection. K will be the red ranger for Halloween.

Piratey Power Ranger. Win-win!

But what about my daughter and myself? (My husband-man has to work unfortunately.) My office is having a theme this year, which makes it incredibly easy for me to choose. Our theme is superheroes but I’m not sure I want to reveal what I’ll be making just yet! I’ve been teasing a couple items from the costume on my Twitter (@1337mando) so go ahead and follow me if you’re curious. I plan on posting my experience with my costume after it’s revealed, so don’t worry, you’ll still find out about my blunders in costume-land. If you ask me, the tweet below kind of gives it away but hopefully that’s just me.

My daughter is going to be a Moogle! Why? Because I only get her first two Halloweens to dress her up in whatever I want. After that, she’ll most likely have her own likes and dislikes. In fact, she will even have the ability to tell me she hates Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts. But for now, I’m hoping that day never comes. This Halloween, we’re going for super adorable!

Happy Momcrafting!

Rethinking River Song

I’ve been rewatching Doctor Who lately and the other night Silence in the Library / Forest of the Dead came on. I have to admit that I’ve never really liked River Song. Okay, let me back up a bit. I’ve never loved River Song. I’ve never fangirled over her like so many other Whovians. To be completely honest, I think she’s great with 11. But when it came to 10… eh, I just felt like she was moving in on something that wasn’t hers. Which is quite accurate but I’ll get to that later.

Now that I know who River Song is, who she becomes, I saw a lot more in these episodes than I’d been able to see before. It made me feel a lot better about my feelings towards River and showed me a light on the Doctor that I’d missed before.

Rose vs. River: FIGHT!

Before, I had felt like River was trying to move intro Rose’s territory. Wrong! However, with how the fourth season sets up, it’s fairly easy to feel that way. When Donna decides to go with the Doctor, in Partners in Crime, but has to get the car keys to her mother, we see Rose in a crowd looking for the Doctor. At the time of Silence in the Library / Forest of the Dead, this storyline is still incomplete. So while Whovians are waiting to see the Doctor reunited with his beloved (whether or not they are on the Rose ship), another love story comes into play. Basically, we get to see what it’s like to be the Doctor and have time go all wibbly-wobbly.

However, there is a part where River becomes terse with the Doctor because he’s not her Doctor. The first time I saw this, this also counted as a strike against River. This time around it evokes an incredible sadness. Knowing that River is his wife, a great love of his, it almost sheds a light on what spouses must go through when their loved one suffers from Alzheimer’s. For River, they’ve shared a long, full life with adventures and love. However, to finally stand next to him again and know you can’t share those memories, those emotions, those experiences, is aggravating. But it’s also endearing. River isn’t upset with the Doctor because of this, she’s upset with the situation. She inevitably knew it would come to this but wasn’t happy about it and she gets snippy. However, because she knows the man he will soon become she still followed him without question.

River’s Sacrifice and Being Saved

There are a couple things I learned from River’s sacrifice. She doesn’t throw herself on the proverbial grenade for 10, she dies for 11. This didn’t make sense to me the first time around since, at that time, it hasn’t been revealed yet who she is/will become. Think about what happens between River and 11. She’s raised to hate him, trained to kill him, falls in love with him and then believes she does succeed in killing him, and even spends the rest of her life in prison for this crime. (Okay, that’s only slightly accurate. No prison can really hold that woman.) That’s some pretty negative stuff and yet not something she would change. The heartache, the suffering isn’t worth trading to have a “normal” life if the Doctor isn’t a part of it.

There are also some major changes in 10 after meeting River. First off, I think 10 has the same reaction a lot of fans did. Here’s this woman who will some day be his wife but she’s not Rose. He hasn’t let go of that heartache (yet) and isn’t able to imagine that he moves on in the future. As far as he knew, marrying again and sharing a life with someone just wasn’t possible.

The reactions he has to the deaths of Anita and River are very telling as well. (If it’s been a while since you’ve seen these episodes, Anita is the woman from the expedition that 10 said was “brave even when she was crying.”) When Anita dies, the Doctor becomes angry. He threatens the Nashta Varada. This is pretty standard for him. He’s a protector of Earth and its people, which I assume Anita was. But with River, he’s almost a confusion of emotions. He knows who she is, what she’ll become but there’s no connection to that and he can’t rightfully mourn her. He’s tempted to read her journal to find out what they will some day share and when he discovers that he can “save” her he shouts “one last run, you and me!” He has no knowledge of the adventures they’ll have together but he knows himself. He knows that if and when he gets to the place that he marries someone that it’s inevitable that together they will fight, they will adventure, and they will run.

So what does all this boil down to? I’m liking River a lot more. Maybe I’ll also end up liking 11 more this time around. Guess we shall see! Now on to Midnight. Stop repeating what I’m saying…